Aiko is a primary character in The Dragonstone, the chronologically earliest book in the Mithgar series.
Aiko's mother died when she was young, and her father trained her (in defiance of law and tradition) in various fighting styles as if she had been a son. When war broke out, Aiko went as a mysterious warrior, using a silk mask to hide her true gender.
During the battles, she was honored several times by the Emperor for saving his life, and her skill at fighting led her to be a part of his elite warriors. She also received a special tattoo from a witch: a magical tiger between her breasts, which gave her a sixth sense for danger and could defend her if she was close to death. However, when the Emperor’s son demanded that she remove the mask, she was forced to do so. She was cast out of Ryodo, and her shamed father lapsed into alcoholism. While she still loved him, Aiko became ashamed of her father.
== Events during The Dragonstone
Disgraced, Aiko travelled to Xian and lived with the mages for two years.Her exact activities during this time are unknown, until Arin Flameseer arrived. Following her tiger tattoo, she pledged herself to help Arin, because Arin’s seeing said that one of the people who would help her was a “Cat Who Fell From Grace.” Seeking the "One Eye in Dark Water", the two women journeyed to a town called Mjorkford to search for a one-eyed man. Along the way they encountered an Ogru and killed it with a shuriken and an arrow. Aiko carried its preserved eye throughout the story.
The first one that they found was the alcoholic ex-sailor Alos, who repulsed Aiko because of his poor hygiene, lack of respect, and grotesquely drunken behavior. She insisted that the "One Eye" must be the raider Egil because of his fighting prowess, but Arin insisted on bringing Alos as well. Aiko spent the next several days scrubbing Alos within an inch of his life, and was not averse to kidnapping him as well.
Aiko proves to be a deadly ally during the various quests. At some point she Aiko confesses that she has no experience with love or sex, but she finds out when she encounters the "Cursed Keeper of Faith In The Maze" named Burel. She challenges the demon that has been hunting his blood for the past few decades, and is badly defeated by it. However her tiger tattoo comes to life and helps her and Burel destroy the demon.
His fighting skills and respect for strong women impress Aiko, and the two have sex during the course of the journey. After it is over, they choose to remain together.
Aiko is small in stature, to the point where she was mistaken for a Dylvana. And as befits her status as a warrior, she dresses in men's clothing and armor, and keeps her hair cut very short. Unsurprisingly the sexism she has suffered leads her to have a zero-tolerance attitude towards misogyny, even of the casual sort. She is even less tolerant of poor hygiene, alcoholism, or disrespect.
She carries one long sword and one short at all times, even when meditating and sleeping, and she carries smaller weapons such as shuriken on her person. She is capable of outfighting even skilled swordsmen, and practices every day.