Yuki's chronicles are written documentation of events written from Yuki's perspective.


Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 1: Beyond the Walls[]

Everything was easier back then. All we had to worry about were the ceremonies held for Amaterasu, our Sun Goddess. Our only contact with the outside world was the merchants who stopped by our gates from time to time. The gates of that isolated village out near the mountains.

I used to wonder how it would feel to travel the world, learn about different cultures, meet people adept in different essences… We used to grab adventure where we could. The four of us used to sneak out, climb the blacksmith’s hut, and hop down the other side of the village walls. A drip of adventure that would quench our thirst for days. Our parents always found out, of course. And we were always punished. But it was worth it.

My father used to say that as you get older the lure of adventure ebbs away. That you begin to appreciate what you have in front of your nose, rather than what’s beyond the horizon. I never relished that thought as a child. But I could never have predicted the appearance of Master Tsuyoshi. Or how much he would change everything.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 2: The Old Sage[]

I remember it as if it were yesterday. We’d played outside too late and were rushing back home, making a game of it. Hikaru tried to leap over a pile of rocks, but didn’t make the jump. We saw his leg slip through the rubble, heard his leg crunch. We watched him turn whiter than the moon. We tried to get him out, but he almost fainted from the pain. It was nearly night time. We had never stayed out beyond the village walls that late before. We heard tell of desert creatures who would drag you back to their lairs – vicious giant birds and scorpions with huge tails like scythes.

Then it appeared. A tall figure with a long beard and green vestments, holding a staff and walking slowly toward us. Our blood froze. By the time we noticed the shape, it was already at Hikaru’s side, pointing its withered staff at the wrenched leg. It said in a calm voice, breaking a long silence, “Stand up.”

I got a closer look at the person while he addressed Hikaru. The figure was an old man, and he wasn’t scary at all. In fact, he emanated an aura of utter tranquility. We almost didn’t notice when Hikaru stood up as if nothing had happened to his leg. The four of us were staring at the old man. With a kind smile, he broke the silence again and said, “Shall I take you home?”

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 3: Transitions[]

Master Tsuyoshi’s arrival in our village was disruptive. We hadn’t had an outsider stay with us for decades. Having a stranger in our midst, and one who wasn’t a Light adept, put everyone on edge. He was granted entry, but almost everyone just tried to avoid him… the same way they avoided everything new and different. But Master Tsuyoshi never took offense. He just focused on our rituals and studied our Light practices, which he found fascinating. The Master said he had been living in the mountains nearby, not far from where he had found us on our doomed adventure. It was part of his pilgrimage, he said.

After a few months, everyone else in the village began to accept him too. Bit by bit, even the most resentful and intolerant couldn’t deny how valuable he was: he brought true healing and new wisdom to our ways. Tolerance built like muscle on bone, and eventually acceptance blossomed in the hearts of the other villagers.

We enjoyed Master Tsuyoshi’s company for a long time. Eventually, he said he had to return to his guild – they needed him for an assignment. He left us a stronger clan than we were before. Wiser, more capable. It felt like we could handle anything.

Until the day the Nisshoku arrived.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 4: Nisshoku’s Invasion[]

Two months after Master Tsuyoshi’s departure, a group of around thirty men appeared. Their leader said they were humble nomads crossing the steppe. They wanted to stop for provisions, offered us trade... Before Master Tsuyoshi came, the village would never have accepted trade with strangers like that, but now things were different.

They attacked the moment they realized we didn’t use Light essence for combat. It was the third night after they arrived. A massacre ensued. My people didn’t stand a chance. Hikaru, Ryo, Sora, and I were outside during the attack, on one of our escapades. We ran back the moment we saw the smoke… Until we heard the screams.

And then we saw him, beneath the Nisshoku flag. The man with the patch over one eye. His sword dripping with blood. His face impassive but for a slight tug at the corners of his lips. He noticed us immediately and commanded a man to come and kill us. We tried to escape, but the man cast shadows ahead of himself and slipped through them, reaching us in seconds.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 5: Thirst of Vengeance[]

As the commander’s henchman reached for Hikaru, Sora shut her eyes and cast a Light barrier around us. We’d never applied Light essence in combat before, but it only took Sora’s sharp mind a moment to seize the opportunity. Then our pursuer began to laugh... He knew her barrier would save us for a few seconds at most.

But just as the barrier began to fade, Ryo struck at the man with all his soul. We’d never seen anything like it. He threw a powerful flash which sent the man reeling backwards, and gave us time to start running.

We survived. He couldn’t have recovered before we made it to the forest. But now we were alone, in the middle of a vast emptiness. The mountain and the village were the only places we knew in the entire world. At first we felt… an emptiness. After days – painful days – of trudging on in silence, the emptiness gave way to melancholy. We sobbed. We were the clan’s only survivors. Hikaru’s sorrow came out in boar-like grunting and groaning. Sora would stay silent for hours, then unleash a single, long scream like a banshee. Ryo’s face turned bright red and his features twisted into a permanent, silent grimace.

Ultimately, however, the melancholy soured… into thirst. A thirst for revenge. They were all dead. We alone bore the clan’s name. We would work together to do to these men what they had done to us.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 6: Reconquest[]

Ryo saved us. We might have died in that desert had it not been for him. He helped us see that we had potential within us, a potential none of us had seen until that point. He recalled what he had seen in Sora and himself that night, when we were on the cusp of death. We knew how to use Light essence. We just had to think laterally, to apply our thinking to battle instead of faith and tilling soil. We talked about retaking our home. We thought that perhaps some of our clan were being held as prisoners.

It took six months. We trained without rest, using rudimentary weapons I prepared in the evenings. Every time the sun set, the likelihood of seeing our families grew ever smaller… Our first step was to go and scout our village.

It had become a Nisshoku camp. It was guarded by at most ten men. Taking it would be risky, but we had waited too long. Anger was burning in our eyes, a molten metal flowing from furnaces in our skulls. We crept in by daylight at noon, when the Shadow essence would be at its weakest. Our first priority was to look for survivors.

I still can’t find the words to describe what we found.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 7: The Inside of the Temple[]

After scouting the village, we noticed that the temple to Amaterasu was boarded up and locked. Its door destroyed, blocking any entry. Sora noticed this stood out from the rest of the village, so we decided to investigate.

Squeezing through the cracks in the rubble, we were struck by a foul stench. Besides Amaterasu’s great statue, nothing was visible in the darkness. We could feel the fumes, the rot, permeating our skin.

Eventually our eyes got used to the dark. In the shade were bodies. Strewn at random, or in piles, or shackled to the walls. The ones that had survived the Nisshoku attack were here, but they weren’t survivors. Family, friends, colleagues… all stuffed, rotting, into the very building where we paid respects to our goddess. In coming years we would discover that Nisshoku’s men had performed horrible experiments on the prisoners they took. “Research” into what made our command of the Light essence so powerful.

The emptiness we felt in the mountains after the attack returned. Words, language, meaning left us. We felt everything and nothing. Ryo and Hikaru couldn’t stop watching the corpses. I didn’t dare. I could feel my mind fraying at the seams.

Sitting with my eyes shut tight, suddenly there was an explosion. Sora and I turned to find Ryo and Hikaru gone. The temple’s buckled entrance was blown open.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 8: The Taste of Vengeance[]

We left the temple immediately and caught a glimpse of Ryo and Hikaru’s figures leaping across the rooftops. The Nisshoku guards came running. Ryo and Hikaru… I’ve never seen men fight like that – before or since. They went berserk, leaping on Nisshoku soldiers like tigers, tearing out throats, faces, chests. Sora and I ran after them, trying to keep up, but they were inhumanly fast. The Nisshoku men didn’t stand a chance. They didn’t expect any sort of attack, let alone a full-frontal assault, in plain daylight, in an isolated village, from four kids.

After a few minutes we realized they were all dead. All of the Nisshoku men. And that was it. The moment we all had been dreaming of for almost a year. The moment we took control and avenged our village.

But it didn’t feel like we had imagined it. Not at all.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 9: A Vast World[]

We were lost again. But unlike our lonely journey into the wild, we were safe at home – where our lives and history were in rotting tatters. Defeating our village’s attackers resulted in the same outcome: loneliness… But now with the weight of those dead men weighing heavily upon us.

We almost didn’t notice when Kibo appeared in the skies. His broad, black form was like the very embodiment of Amaterasu’s messenger, bringing us hope.

Master Tsuyoshi had sent Kibo to check on the village. The sage had created a link between his soul and the bird, so we knew following Kibo on his long flight home would be a safe decision. We set off, without speaking a word between us, walking just behind his shadow.

As we walked, our eyes opened. More and more, hour upon hour, day upon day. We realized a vast world was in front of us. We didn’t trust, or even speak to, anyone to begin with. But every new place and culture we encountered fascinated us. Weeks later, we understood our place in a bigger picture. In a larger conflict.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 10: The Seed of Kaiho[]

The more we travelled, the more we saw, the more we learned… the more we realized how deep and broad the scars left by Nisshoku were. Across the entire continent. They said Nisshoku were born from an ancient guild of assassins. A sect with hundreds of followers. Their leader, whom they called the “Shadow Empress,” was considered a goddess. They said her power was extraordinary. Her objective was apparently nothing less than the destruction of all Light brotherhoods they could find… but they made no distinctions. Any non-Darkness guild would fall at their feet.

On the road we met one broken family after another. Entire cultures that had met the same fate as our own. But we met people who wanted to fight back too. People that wanted to avenge their loved ones, people who wanted their lives back, people who wanted to live without fear. They had the will, but lacked the guidance. They needed a common leader.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 11: Re-encounter[]

Eighteen months had passed since our journey began. Seeing the wreckage left in Nisshoku’s wake, we grew in strength and wisdom, and learned just how much damage Nisshoku had caused.

Eventually, after following Kibo for months, he began descending rapidly, rushing to his final destination. As we reached where Kibo had landed, we were greeted by the bright smile of Master Tsuyoshi. Meeting him again almost felt like coming home.

We talked. We talked for a long time. About the past few months. About what Nisshoku had done to the world. The Master had seen their work first hand too. In fact, he had left us because his brotherhood had given him a mission: teaching the command of Life essence to all brotherhoods under Nisshoku attack. Just to give them a slightly better chance. But licking wounds wasn’t the solution. Sooner or later someone had to do something, and the Master knew it. When we told him that we were determined to lead a counterattack, he hardly looked surprised. After a short pause, he said, “Well. Your classes start tomorrow.”

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 12: The Last Resort[]

Master Tsuyoshi taught us the basics of manipulating Life essence. I had read legends about it, but still the countless uses Master Tsuyoshi revealed amazed me. He taught us how to control our inner peace. How to block the inner peace of others. How to heal any wound. There was little wonder why he was considered a sage.

For a Light adept like me, using another essence was like trying to write with the wrong hand (I must say, however, that yours truly was the first to attune to it – and with ease). This new essence took the form of a green flame when summoned. It felt like spring water rippling through your soul. Peaceful… That is, until the Master taught us how to apply it in combat.

Applied to combat, Life essence allows one to heal wounds at incredible speed. But it doesn’t end there. Certain techniques allow you to transfer part of your own soul to someone else, or vice versa, temporarily. You can empower yourself with another’s soul, and drain their own essence. But this technique is difficult to control. Breaking the body–soul balance like that… The potential consequences were terrifying.

And just when we thought we had learned all we could, when we thought Master Tsuyoshi’s teaching was slowing down… he gave us one last piece of wisdom. “The technique I’m going to show you now was branded as forbidden long ago,” he said. “It is risky. Dangerous. It should only be used as a last resort. If all else fails... it could help you defeat the Shadow Empress.”

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 13: Building an Army[]

Once we finished training with Master Tsuyoshi, we started recruiting. We already had allies from the various villages and cities we had passed through, and after reaching out to those we met, the word spread and others started to come to us. There were adepts from all the clans, of various essences and practices – even people who weren’t adepts. Not all of them were ready to fight, but most of them had potential.

Only one thing was missing from our preparations: Light. Teaching people to use Light, our best offense against Nisshoku’s Shadow, would take years we didn’t have. We only had time for the basics, and that wouldn’t be enough… Then I came up with an idea.

During our travels we had found huge veins of a rare mineral called Hikalcum, which can store and emit Light essence. If we could infuse our army’s weapons with Hikalcum, it would barely matter how inept a soldier was with Light essence… Our Light “charge” would empower them. I tested it, and it proved successful. I even infused our four weapons with the mineral as well. This simple action would make the difference in the war to come.

After six months of preparation, our army was ready. With Ryo, Hikaru, Sora, and I as its leaders, our newly formed brotherhood was ready to put an end to Nisshoku’s reign. Kaiho was born.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 14: The War to Come[]

March 20, Year 10 of the Sixth Age.
The last preparations have been made. We depart next week.

I hardly can sleep. My heart is in my throat. This is the moment we all have been waiting for. At least recalling these memories, all that we have achieved, has calmed me a little. Looking back, the change within us gives me strength – from children living blissfully ignorant of how big the world was, to leaders of an army.

The men are anxious. I can hear them pacing in their tents nearby. They are fed not by water or food, but by a passion for revenge. To destroy Nisshoku. Even Master Tsuyoshi is going to fight, despite his age. He has learned how to use Light essence almost as well as us native adepts.

I wonder how I’ll feel once I see the high walls of Kyuryu, Nisshoku’s capital. I wonder how I will feel when the Shadow Empress shows herself to us… They say her power is such that she can kill dozens of men in the blink of an eye. But we won’t hesitate. We’ve come this far. Our Sun Goddess lights our path. We will win.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 15: A Bitter Victory[]

June 3, Year 10 of the Sixth Age.
It shouldn’t have ended like this.

True victory was almost within reach. Just beyond our grasp. But even after Ryo… Even then, we couldn’t stretch that last inch.

The rumors about the Shadow Empress were true. They didn’t exaggerate one bit. In the end we had to use the Forbidden Technique to trap her, and now we suffer the consequences. I can feel her in my chest. It gets worse if we are close together, so we have hardly seen each other since… I hope the talismans serve us well...

Some say that we won. Indeed, perhaps we decimated Nisshoku’s forces. Perhaps we trapped their empress. But it didn’t feel like a victory. Not at all. This is only a temporary peace. She’ll do anything within her power to free herself. We have to avoid that at all costs. So we will guard this place. All the sacrifices we’ve made won’t be in vain.

Yuki’s chronicles Vol. 16: Pain[]

March 10, Year 15 of the Sixth Age
This pain is becoming unbearable. Master Tsuyoshi once described what having a corrupted soul felt like, but I could never have imagined it would be this extreme... I wish he was still with us. He and Ryo.

It gets worse every day. “Pain” doesn’t even come close: it’s in my soul. I feel it every minute, every second… I hear her voice in my head telling me to give up. Imploring me. There’s no way I can sleep. Passing some of it to Kibo barely alleviated my pain, and now he has part of her within him. We have to keep him confined.

I contacted Hikaru and Sora. They will help me pass another part to another adept. It’s risky, but I can’t hold on anymore. If only I were stronger.

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