A young boy in a white (almost pale pink) cape and carrying a wrapped sword is traveling through a forest when he encounters a large, snake-like sura baring its long, sharp teeth. He merely smiles up at it in response, exposing his own sharp teeth.
Leez complains about the heat and asks Asha if things get better once they reach Mistyshore; Asha responds that some find the heat in the city unbearable so they kill themselves. Leez then asks if they could just use the rest of Asha's daily teleport spells, but Asha explains that they need spares in case of emergency. Leez is jealous of Asha's temperature-controlled underwear, a birthday present from Airi.
Leez explains (in exposition) that they left Atera a week ago and they originally intended to travel to Kalibloom via Rindhallow. But because of an increased danger of suras in the area of Rindhallow, they changed their route to travel through Mistyshore instead. They teleport three times each morning, then stay overnight in towns which have better defenses than the smaller villages. Leez learned a few more things about Asha, such as the fact that she keeps a large sleeping bag inside her cloak, she always locks the bathroom door even though they're both girls, and she can only teleport within her range of vision so she always searches for a high spot. To increase her range of vision even more, she uses a visor called Hunter's Eyes x50, which was a birthday present from Lorraine. As they prepare to teleport again, Leez notices the smell of something similar to blood nearby, but Asha yells at her to not fall behind.
The boy in the white cape steps out from behind some trees, covering his mouth. The birds that accompanied him earlier now fly away, leaving him standing alone.
The next town is very crowded, and Asha and Leez pass by a food seller offering fresh-fried curry fish fillets, which of course Leez wants to buy, but Asha insists that they need to find a hotel quickly or else they will be sleeping in the streets. They next pass by a half being auctioned, and Leez feels sorry for the Garuda half girl who is up for sale and looking very scared. Asha informs her that the sale of halfs is legal and she should not interfere, and explains that unlike in Atera, where most people support half rights, in Mistyshore most people hate halfs. Leez recalls her mother telling her about her half friends from her fighter days, and Leez wonders how they went from being friends to this.
After sunset, the boy in the white cape shows up at the auction and intimidates the seller without speaking a word.
Asha pays for their hotel room (only the most expensive one was still available), and tells the desk clerk to keep the change. Leez finally realizes that Asha has not kept any change all this time, and Asha explains that it is unnecessary weight to add to her cloak. Leez protests that it's still a lot of money, so Asha tells her that she can have the change. Asha asks the desk clerk why the town is so crowded, and he explains that it's the last checkpoint before Mistyshore. There is a high demand for magicians with good eyesight to teleport people across the channel, since traveling by water has become more dangerous due to a rise in the number of violent attacks by Gandharva suras. There is a sudden clamor outside with someone yelling that a half has run away; Asha begins to tell Leez that it's too dangerous to go outside, but Leez has already disappeared.
In a flashback scene, the boy in the white cape had eaten a Garuda sura, upsetting the Yaksha clan suras, who suggest they kill him before he grows stronger and eats them. Shuri tells them that maybe they are right, but his tastes are not his fault, and they should give him some more time.
Leez zips out from the hotel to buy a bag of fried curry fish fillets using the change Asha gave her, just before the half escapes. The hunters mention that the half is wearing "the necklace" and they have the Yaksha King's bone that will help apprehend her. They decide to kill her with hoti marut instead of risking losing her altogether.
Asha approaches the fish fillet seller to find out if he has seen Leez, and he tells her that she followed the hunters.
While on the run, the Garuda half asks the boy if they can rest a bit because the necklace is making her tired; in response, the boy easily tears off the necklace. She asks if he's a half as well, and as a thank-you, she invites him for a meal at her village. She barely finishes talking when the hunters suddenly appear and strike her down with the hoti marut spell.
The boy recalls how Shuri taught him what he should eat (suras that attack him) and what he should not (humans), and how she made him promise "Mom". While the hunters are congratulating themselves, the boy is preparing to maim them without actually eating them as his eyes turn red. Leez suddenly shows up, mumbling as she holds a curry fillet in her mouth. She punches a hunter who threatens her, sending him flying. The leader of the hunters accuses her of illegally using magic to attack them, but she responds (without noticing that her bracelet is turned on) that she wishes she could use magic, but she only has brute force at her disposal. She then offers to punch him in the face.
The hunter holding the bone notices that it has no effect on Leez's strength, so he thinks she and the boy must both be quarters plotting to steal the half to sell themselves. The leader tells his magician friend to use her magic on them, but she balks at the idea. He then suggests that they secretly dispose of Leez and the boy to avoid getting caught and getting in trouble with the Magicians Guild, but unfortunately for them, Asha arrives and tells him that she has already seen everything. At first Asha tells Leez to turn off her bracelet; Leez did not realize Asha even knew about it or its function. The magician hunter recognizes Asha and backs off, carrying the injured hunter. The leader stubbornly holds out (and mistakes Asha for a man), so Asha threatens him by saying she would easily be cleared of involuntary manslaughter by magical accident. After a display of hoti indra, the last hunter finally runs off. Asha begins to admonish Leez for disobeying her orders and interfering with the half auction, but Leez denies it and says the boy over there was the one who took her away. As Leez grabs him and begs him to corroborate her story, Asha realizes that the half is still alive and heals her with hoti asvins. Leez is very happy that the half will be okay and lets go of the boy, who stares at her with a strangely astonished expression. Asha notes that the hoti marut spell would normally be fatal, but for some odd reason the spell was interrupted.
Asha and Leez take the unconscious half and the boy to their hotel room at Leez's invitation. As Leez leads the way out to grab some dinner, Asha turns to the boy and asks him to explain himself and why he never talks. She asks if he is a mute, and he nods.
At the hotel restaurant, Leez prepares to order a few meat dishes, but Asha takes away her menu and orders an all-vegetarian meal instead. The change in menu does not faze Leez one bit, but Asha closely watches the boy, who seems hesitant to eat. When Leez notices that diners at another table left half their food, she states that those who waste food go to Hell and she hates people like that. The boy briefly pauses before he nibbles a little of his food at first, then empties the rest of his plate in one giant slurp, impressing Leez, who naturally wants to learn how to do that herself. Leez comments on his good manners, while Asha looks on.
Back at their hotel room, Asha asks Leez where the boy has gone, and she replies that he went out for some fresh air. When Asha asks if he told her that, she says that he wrote it down on a notepad. Asha searches and finds him in an alley throwing up his dinner, and notes that his insides are black. She deduces that he is a superior sura, likely a 3rd-stage upani, but that does not account for his efforts to pretend he is a human. The boy begins to scrawl in the dirt, threatening Asha not to tell anyone. She scoffs at this, saying she could easily defeat an upani below 5th stage. The boy then writes in the dirt that he is a rakshasa. As Asha looks at him wide-eyed, he smiles back.
In the shower, Leez runs out of shampoo. She hears Asha's voice outside so she immediately hops out of the bathroom to ask for another bottle. Instead, she is shocked to find Asha with the boy, who hides his face in embarrassment. Asha spends a few hours lecturing her, explaining that if the boy were a quarter or a half (Asha is going along with his pretense), he would be much older than her despite his youthful appearance.
After Leez goes to sleep, Asha approaches the boy out on the balcony and tosses him a pencil and a notebook. She then tells him that it would be safest if he poses as a half, with her as his sponsor. He asks where they are headed, and learns that their destination is Mistyshore. The boy reveals he is on his way to Kalibloom to get the Sword of Return, which surprises Asha, and he offers to accompany them to Mistyshore. When Asha asks why he needs the sword, he explains that he was stranded in the human realm after the Cataclysm, and he would like to use the sword's hidden function—it can open a gate to the sura realm—so he can go back to his family. He is happy when he learns that they are going to try for the sword as well, so they will be traveling together for a while. When the boy offers to give them the sword after he is done with it, Asha remarks that the sword cannot change ownership until the owner dies, but he informs her that the rules of the sword do not apply to him. Asha is suspicious of the circumstances of their meeting, saying "he" is giving her some help to improve her odds, but the boy swears it's just a coincidence, as he had only recently arrived from another planet. In any case, she does not refuse him.
The next day, Leez is happy at the news of their new companion and asks for his name. Asha say he is unable to tell them his real name for personal reasons, but she came up with three new possible names for the boy, written on a piece of paper: Blackie, White, and Spotty. Appalled at Asha's awful suggestions, Leez decides that she needs to come up with a name herself.
At the hotel, Asha says that the half is now awake, and asks Leez if she is still thinking of a name. Asha is content with calling the boy "Spotty", but Leez is determined to come up with a much better name.
They escort the grateful half out of town, but when Leez offers to have Asha teleport her to her hidden village, the girl declines, and Asha understands that the half would rather keep the location a secret from humans. Leez recalls the stories told by her mom's friend about her mom's Fighter past and her many half friends; a young Leez excitedly looks forward to having many half friends herself when she grows up. The boy then taps Leez on the shoulder and offers to take her to her village instead. When Asha cautions him to keep a low profile, Leez gets the feeling they are keeping something from her. She then asks Asha why people are no longer friendly with halfs, prompting Asha to ask if she could be friends with, say, a rakshasa? The idea appears to disgust Leez.
Once the boy and the half cover a great distance on foot, she thanks him for his help and offers go the rest of the way by herself so he could catch up with his companions. He writes that since there are no humans in this area, he can take her home quickly. He then picks her up and steps off the edge of a bluff.
In a flashback, there is a conversation between brothers; one laments that his wings do not match, causing him to struggle and bringing him unwanted stares. His big brother assures him that his wings are cool and everyone else is jealous. He encourages him to always fly towards the light of his Garuda half as he endures the difficulties of his Chaos half.
The boy is now in flight as he carries the half. His right wing is white and bat-like with red veins, and his left is covered with black feathers.
The half, Rinn, has returned safely to her village, and admits to her fellow villagers that she was caught by a half hunter, but fortunately someone came to her aid. As she holds up a black feather, the others are amazed, saying that Garuda halfs with wings are very rare. She begins to say that he was not a half, but then corrects herself, describing him as a half with beautiful wings.
At sunset and with Leez left behind quite a ways away, Asha privately remarks to the boy that it took him only a day to catch up with them, so he might be better off traveling alone since he would get to his destination much faster without them, plus he would not have to pretend to be a half for Leez's sake, since she hates suras. He replies that he is fine and to not worry.
The next morning, Leez produces a long list of names that she had been working on all night, and mentions that one name she particularly likes is "Yuta". The boy shows surprise at the name, and indicates that he likes it. Leez brags about her talent so much that Asha prepares to cut off her ear with bhavati marut, then says that she is only joking. As the three of them prepare for teleportation, Yuta grabs at Asha's right arm, but then realizes something is amiss, which brings a sad look on his face. He then hugs Asha around her waist, and they all teleport across the channel, arriving just outside Mistyshore.
A young man with a long braid floats on a raft in the ocean, angry at a certain author...