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Kyouka Kuze(H?) -~- Akito Kashiwagi | | Kaname Ototsuki
- H = Handmaiden
Akito Kashiwagi (柏木 秋人)
Akito Kashiwagi was a travelling folklorist, specialising in folk songs and musical traditions. He came to the Mutsu region to study a lullaby, and his search led him to the Kuze Shrine, where the song had originated. He was invited to stay in the female-only Shrine as an Outsider, to continue the bloodline. He was invited to the chamber of Kyouka Kuze for this purpose. The two fell in love, and Kyouka became pregnant; meanwhile, with some help from Kyouka, Akito continued his research into the lullaby and the customs behind it. When the time came for Akito to leave, he gave Kyouka two pairs of Echo Stone Earrings and promised to return. However, he was murdered by Yashuu Kuze, who considered him a threat to the Shrine.
Kyouka Kuze was the the only daughter of Yashuu Kuze. Her primary duty appears to have been producing female heirs with men brought to the shrine. When Akito Kashiwagi came to the Shrine, she fell in love with him. Although he could only stay until the snow melted, he promised that he would return and take her away with him. After his departure, Kyouka had a son, Kaname. Boys were not needed in the Shrine, so Kyouka smuggled Kaname to the village below. Not realising Akito was dead, she gave Kaname three of the Echo Stone Earrings so that Akito would recognise his son. Meanwhile, Kyouka remained in the Shrine, wondering why Akito didn't return and gradually falling into despair. After the Unleashing, she died in the Rift.
Kaname Ototsuki was the son of Akito Kashiwagi and Kyouka Kuze. His mother sent him to a mountain village in the hope that his father would find and adopt him, but by that time, Akito was already dead. Instead, Kaname was a foundling raised by the Ototsuki Family, and knew little of his background. He became close to Reika Yukishiro, a girl from the village, and gave her one of the Echo Stone Earrings that his mother had left with him, so that they could hear each other's thoughts. For unknown reasons, Kaname left, and while he was gone an unspecified disaster destroyed the village, killing everyone except Reika. Shortly afterwards, Kaname began dreaming of a shrine in the snow, where people could offer their pain to a priestess. He dreamed that Reika was there. He narrated this dream to Dr. Kunihiko Asou, and then left suddenly in the night to return to the shrine. Once there, he enlisted the help of a young Handmaiden, Amane Kuze, his own half-sister. She helped him sneak into the shrine to see Reika once more. But Yashuu Kuze had followed him, and killed him before Reika's eyes, causing the Unleashing.