Isoka was born into a seemingly average family in the bustling metropolis of Yakushima City, a stark contrast to the serene landscapes he would later find solace in. His early years were marked by an unusual restlessness—a mind too quick, thoughts too vast. Labeled a high-gifted child, he was always a few steps ahead of his peers, both academically and emotionally.
But with his extraordinary gifts came isolation. Isoka found it increasingly difficult to connect with people his age, who often interpreted his introspective nature as aloofness or even arrogance. Classroom discussions felt superficial, casual friendships felt strained, and each day felt like an exercise in mimicry as he tried to blend into a world that seemed unable to understand him.
As a child, he found solace in the realm of books and ideas. Each page turned was an escape, each new concept a treasure. Libraries became his sanctuary, the scent of old parchment and the soft rustling of pages his refuge. When he wasn't lost in the works of legendary philosophers or the intricate tapestries of cyberpunk narratives, he was captivated by Yakushima's folklore. Stories of Kami, of ancient rituals and celestial occurrences, whispered to him like an enigmatic lullaby, sowing seeds for dreams that would come to haunt him later in life.
But the real world was not as forgiving. High school years were especially difficult. The gap between him and his classmates widened further, socially and intellectually. Despite his attempts to appear "normal," his quirks and seemingly esoteric interests made him a subject of whispers, of judgmental glances. Love was a distant concept—something he read about, something he could explain through chemical reactions in the brain, but something he never truly felt, at least not in the way most people did.
Rejection followed him like a persistent shadow. Even the adults, the teachers and counselors who were supposed to guide him, labeled him as "too intense" or "complicated." An outlier in a system that wanted to categorize him, to contain him within check-boxes and statistics.
And so, as soon as he had the chance, Isoka sought refuge in the one place that never judged him—the sprawling, untamed landscapes of Yakushima. Here, among the towering trees and the sacred air, he found his true self. What society had labeled a "gift" finally found its purpose, as he began to understand the intricate balance of the island, the delicate dance of natural forces that most took for granted.
As he settled into this new phase of life, his recurring dreams grew more vivid. Whispers grew louder, and an unexplained energy guided him toward a destiny he never asked for but was always meant to fulfill.
It was as if the island itself was calling to him, as if the Kami knew that Isoka, the high-gifted outcast turned wanderer, was ready for a higher calling—a calling that would become clear on a fated day that would change Yakushima and Isoka forever.