During the 16th century of Japan in the budding town of Tottori, a spiritually gifted young monk resides in an aged wooden temple flourishing with spiritual energy with three other disciples. An experienced and wayward samurai was currently seeking shelter here after crossing the harrowing Chugoku Mountains. His origins were uncertain, but his sincerity towards the Bhuddist faith readily allowed him solace in this humble sanctuary.
One night as the young monk was sleeping a demoness with inexplicable malice attacks him! Her minions aid her in her assault, but luckily the samurai comes to his defense and wards her off. The young monk, in a panic rushes to find his fellow disciples unharmed and then hurriedly makes his way to the altar tree to seek the reasoning of her attack while the samurai follows him along. The monk meditates by calming his breaths and staring into the gentle ripples of the pond. Through his deciphering of the ripples, he discovers that the southern spirit temple is in danger and must immediately defend it. According to fate, he has been fore granted the task of protecting the shrine from the demoness attempting to discharge him of his fate. The samurai is skeptical in trusting a naïve young man and mere ripples for such a journey, but attempts to find faith in him and feels it right to accompany him.
They set off for the Tottori Sand Dunes in which the southern spirit temple lies past. The samurai finds the young monk’s habits and gifts to be peculiar. He often spoke to himself, bowed toward empty air, and had an uncanny way with the wildlife. They never went thirsty on their journey since the few animals in that area would simply lead them to hidden watering holes. As for any conflict between them, one evening, the samurai happened to capture and slay a rare desert elk. When the young monk discovered his accomplishment, he just sat aside its distorted neck and mourned indeterminately. What will these two heroes learn from one another if anything at all? Is this journey merely the misinterpretation of an anomalous incident or does the fate of a significant spiritual balance truly in danger?