- For the other character with the same name, see Ao
Ao is a tall man with an unkempt long shaggy blue hair. As a previous possessor of Seiryuu’s power, he was born with golden eyes along with two red marks that emphasize his ownership. He wears a sleeveless black robe with gray hemlines that is held by a dark blue sash. He has bandages on his body and arms and a necklace decorated with three black and white feathers around his neck. When fighting, he puts on a gray horned mask with red markings and carries a sword with no cross-guard.
Ao is mostly seen as a grumpy and strict man who disliked the curse that came from the Seiryuu. It deeply annoys him that the villagers believe that looking into the seiryuu's eyes will turn them into stone and so he takes his anger out on Shin-Ah. Even though he gives the impression that he thinks the younger Seiryuu is annoying, he deeply cares for him and weeps at the thought of leaving Shin-Ah all alone.
Eighteen years ago, the new successor of Seiryuu’s power was born on the Village of Seiryuu. The baby’s mother was dreaded over the fact that her son was the next Seiryuu –on which they believe as a curse– and killed herself. As per the village’s law, Ao was given the responsibility to look after the baby and from then on, he raised him in seclusion to avoid causing trouble among the villagers. With the mother leaving the baby nameless, Ao just referred to him as “Seiryuu”.
Four years later, Ao found Seiryuu outside their home asking some kids his age to let him play with them. As the kids ran out of fear, Ao called Seiryuu and dragged him back home. When they reached their home, he scolded Seiryuu for disobeying his order to not to go outside. The little kid apologized, saying that he only wanted to have friends but Ao grabbed Seiryuu on the collar and grouchily told him that he will never have one. He called him a pest and threw him down on the floor out of irritation. After Seiryuu stood up, he innocently asked Ao why everyone doesn't like them and if his power were cursed. Ao, albeit looking sad, still answered the question. He said that anyone they looked at will turn to stone, but disprove it as it was a stupid rumor spread around by the villagers and explained that what they actually have was a creepy power that can paralyze a person’s nerves, and even their hearts. Seiryuu started to cry when he learned that he was indeed cursed and Ao scolded him again, further slapping to his face that he has been cursed by the monster called Seiryuu. Frustrated, Ao let out his anger of the supposed legendary power that kept clinging on their village. As Ao let himself cool off, Seiryuu notified him of bad people camping outside their village. Ao stood up, but suddenly fell down due to the weakness of losing his power. Seiryuu tried to help him, but brushed him off. Then they set off to the location of the enemies.
As they approached the location, Ao overheard the people discussing about a person who has dragon’s powers that they can sell to the nobles with a high price. He then disturbed their happy chat, saying that he was nothing but an ordinary swordsman who doesn’t have any powers and killed them off in an instant. After the battle, Ao asked Seiryuu if he watched his swordsmanship carefully as he wanted him to learn his moves quickly. Seiryuu, innocently curious as ever, asked why he used swords instead of his power. Ao grabbed Seiryuu angrily once again on his collar and reminded him that their eyes are cursed. He told him that he will teach him how to use the dragon’s eye, but strictly forbade him to use it as it is a double-edge sword that will affect both its user and the one it’s used on. He added that even if he decided not to use it, people will still hate him or will hunt him down for his power. He then let Seiryuu go, still gritting his teeth over the fact of what he said. Seiryuu asked him again if he will make friends if he started using the sword, but Ao coldly told him the same answer he gave earlier and started to walk away. Seiryuu called for him, shouting to him that he must not leave him alone. Ao still continued to walk, but he spread his left hand’s palm open so that Seiryuu can grab him. Seiryuu caught up to him and held his hand as they walk home. As the days passed by, Ao sternly taught Seiryuu everything he knew.
On a certain night, Ao fought another group of people wanting the dragon’s powers. He became weaker at that time; gradually losing his eyesight which made him had a hard time fighting his enemies. As he struggled for breath, he killed one of the enemies successfully but was hit on his back by the remaining one. He was about to be attacked again when Seiryuu saved him by throwing a small dagger. The enemy ran in the process, and Ao helplessly knelt down on the ground. As his mask fell and the mark under his eyes slowly disappeared, his sight also disappeared along with it, completing the transfer of Seiryuu’s power to Seiryuu. He said to Seiryuu that he can no longer see while painting a smile on his face. Happily, he shouted to the skies that he can finally die as he is now a human.
As they started travelling home, Ao heard the sound of bells coming from Seiryuu which the latter picked up from the battlefield earlier. He noted that with those sounds, he will know where Seiryuu was even though he can’t see. Seiryuu then gleefully swung the bells around, which made Ao cry as he apologize that he will be leaving Seiryuu all alone now. As the sun rose to the sky, Ao fell down on the ground and passed away.
It deeply annoys him that the villagers believe that looking into the seiryuu's eyes will turn them into stone and so he takes his anger out on Shin-Ah. Even though he gives the impression that he thinks the younger Seiryuu is annoying, he deeply cares for him and weeps at the thought of leaving Shin-Ah all alone.
(Shin-Ah about Ao) "I can't even remember the face of the man who meant so much to me."
(Shin-Ah about Ao) "Ao was strong, Ao taught me about the power of my eyes, Ao taught me how to use a sword, Ao was stern."
(Ao to Shin-Ah)'I'm sorry...for leaving you all alone...I'm sorry!'
- Ao means blue in the Japanese language depending in your origin.
- Ao had no original name, when Shin-ah was born, he named himself 'Ao'.
- Mizuho Kusanagi's blog, March 13th 2015
- Akatsuki no Yona Manga: Chapter 21, Pages 13-14
- Akatsuki no Yona Manga: Chapter 21, Pages 20-21
- Akatsuki no Yona Manga: Chapter 21, Pages 22-23