The voice echoes against bamboo walls, audible over the roar of the waterfall that ends just inside their border, at the edge of a thriving forest. Tall stalks of bright green encircle Eiji as he enters deeper into the closest copse, mid-day sun dimmed to stray slivers by the tight canopy. He walks briskly, with purpose, each footfall sure and certain, but almost silent, never heavy. Eiji’s broad shoulders slump, feet stop in place, not for fear of being lost, but of an emotional weariness he can’t shake. He takes one last step forward, branch almost catching on his loose ponytail as he slips under it, and stands erect, scanning the forest with jade eyes.