A landslide. The wrong language. Those were all it took for Sano's life to change.
Sixteen-year-old Sano grew up in a forest with only his mother to keep him company. After his mother leaves him alone for a few days, a careless display of illegal magic catapults him out of his reclusion. Sano finds himself pursued by the king's warriors, with certain death awaiting him if he is captured.
But it's a dangerous time to be a fugitive in the Kingdom of Dayung. The greedy, ruthless king is desperate to eliminate any threats to his power. A reviled figure from a shameful past lurks among the shadows. And to top it all, a mysterious wind is plaguing the kingdom, turning people into wood.
Thrust into the world he knows next to nothing about, Sano is aided only by a reluctant ally, Anina, who seeks the secret to gaining magic. Together, they must find a way to reunite with Sano's mother without getting swept up in the secrets and conspiracies that riddle their journey.
Yaya is a highly-advanced humanoid machine, trying to earn the final credential that will mark her the guardian of her creator's orphaned daughter. Eager to prove herself, she takes on an assignment to determine whether the village's dour tofu-peddler is an aswang — a dark creature that disguises itself as a human, but feasts on human flesh.
It's a risky assignment for Yaya. If she mistakes a human for an aswang, she will lose all her previous credentials; and if she mistakes an aswang for a human, she will allow a deadly killer to roam freely.