Iashi Kari and Tationy Tylo
Iashi Kari had spent the majority of his life in and around the Kari Foundation. Like many of his clan it was considered his legacy. There were no words to express the pride a Kari man felt at the knowledge that something they had cultivated had become a staple of the great nation of Aslann through many centuries. Still, there was a burden that bruised his ego as of late.
While he stood in front of the desk that once belong to Tadayoshi Kari he was reminded sharply that centuries also change many things. No longer was there a Kari man at the helm of the company brought to life by his kin, but a woman with the eyes of the goddess. Not just any woman though, she was the queen. Casually he pulled his attention away from her only long enough to take in the office.
“You are disappointed with me,” Her soft voice tugged his attention. No longer were her eyes fixed upon the laptop before her. She was always like this, gauging and analyzing his every movement even when he was simply standing still.
It was not her fault that things had transpired as they had. As he would come to understand, Tationy Tylo was given control of the Kari Foundation to ensure that it would withstand the test of time. There were Kari men that would gladly tear it down, brick by brick. It was considered a monument of tainted sin. A testament that the Kari had cast aside tradition and value; that was the staining being done to his legacy.
In typical Yamada fashion his verbal tic escaped his lips as he gave her a hard stare, “Ahh.” Really the bold look of displeasure was unintentional. As of late dark thoughts had even managed to breakthrough his armored defenses and the often cheerful Iashi of the Kari felt a dark gloom overtake him, “I thought we agreed that you would make this office your own.”
“I am trying…”
He cut her off, “There are simply things that we mere humans will never understand. Whatever it was you shared with Tadayoshi Kari must have had a profound impact on you to carry his burden for over a hundred years. Kari men, however, do not dwell in the past. He would not want you to remain shackled to him, but instead wish for you to move forward. I know you know this. It pleases me that you have begun to move some of his items out, but this office is still a shrine to him and no matter how many years pass, you will not be able to bring him back.”
The words he spoke to her, must have stung because she pulled her attention away and a certain amount of unwelcome silence followed. It would not have been the first time she got mad at him and simply stopped speaking, but he had to admit it would be the first one that revolved around this particular topic. Still, he was a Kari man and apologizing was simply not something they did.
“I am not trying to bring him back,” She finally muttered, “I just do not want him to be forgotten.”
Rubbing the back of his neck he moved around the desk, glancing at her screen briefly when he came to a halt, “This is about Kazuma.”
“If that man has his way, only his name will be uttered upon the lips of mortals. Tadayoshi entrusted me with his pride and I will do everything in my power to protect it and ensure that his name is not forgotten or buried by some narcissistic egomaniac.” There was a momentary pause before the rant began, “I do not know who he thinks he is. King of the Gods,” A breath of air released from her lips in a somewhat exasperated sigh.
It was slightly amusing when she got like this, though he had only seen it a few times. Gone was the composed woman that hid her feelings. The longer she went on about Kazuma the more amused Iashi became until he finally lost his composure and chuckled. The unhappy pout of her lips told him that he had crossed a line. “Sorry, sorry,” He managed to say.
“I wish you would be a bit more serious…”
He cut her off, “Don’t think because I am laughing that I do not understand the dangers that are lurking. Which brings me to a conversation you keep avoiding. I do not think you should go and see Somè alone. The new Elder of the Kari cannot be trusted where you are concern.”
The queen moved away from her desk to gaze upon the great nation of Aslann, “I know you are worried about me Iashi. This is my path. If you go with me, Somè will be made aware of your loyalties. The Kari Foundation needs to be protected and I need you here to ensure that no harm comes to it while I am away.” There was a momentary pause before she glanced toward him, “This meeting….” Heaviness surrounded her, “I need to know what he is doing. His anger hides his movements from my eyes and by the time I can react to his deeds, he already has another in motion.”
“Sacrificing yourself in this manner does not help the Kari Foundation or Aslann. Going gives him power.”
“If I do not go, it changes nothing. He will still have all the power because my eyes are blind to his will.”
His shoulders slumped forward, “Ahh, I know.”
“Do not worry, as long as I wear Tadayoshi’s heroska he cannot touch me. I will be alright Iashi and if for some reason, things go terribly wrong know that I trust you to carry the burden of Tadayoshi’s pride. With my last breath, I will make certain that you do not carry that burden alone.”
Iashi broke up the dark conversation with a lighthearted laugh, “Why is it our conversations away turn out like this?”
The solemn expression told him that she did not have it in her to be amused. It was not entirely unexpected seeing there was plenty weighing her down. Quickly she had changed the subject, “Tonight when I head home I will take some more of Tadayoshi’s belongings…”
He felt a heaviness from her words so he cut her off, “Almost feels like the old man is watching over us with his stuff here. Wish I could have met him.”
It was rare, but there were times her telling Yamada blood showed through in the way she responded, “Ahh, he would have found you troublesome.”
His head leaned back as he laughed at her words. There was no misjudging them, it was clear she was teasing, “If I am troublesome, what does that say about you?”
“He already knows I am….well he did,” She corrected and managed a meek smile.
“Can’t say a Kari man does not like a little trouble in his life, but I feel as though you can be quite a handful.”
“Are you flirting with me, Iashi of the Kari?”
Iashi smiled, “Flirting with you is dangerous business. No, I know better than to flirt with the Queen of the Kari though I may be having some terribly salacious thoughts.”
Rolling her eyes she responded, “What am I going to do with you?”
“I am certain that question is rhetorical, but if you really want me to tell you.”
While his words lingered there he took in the way her face lit up, “Go…” She swatted him playfully. The moment he flirted and teased she always shooed him away as though he was some unwanted pest or a boy with a crush. Not that he did not understand; Iashi knew enough about the Queen of the Kari to know that her heart was seeking its king; the question that he often found himself asking was whether or not that was truly Kazuma.
“Come on, this conversation was just getting interesting.”
“Iashi, I swear by Kazuma I will kick you right in the butt….” She responded as she tried to push him out of her office.
“I do not mind a little kink, but I prefer to be one doing the pad…”
“Do not finish that sentence.”
“Why finding it difficult to resist me?” She made a frustrated sound which only made him laugh harder, “Alright, alright. I am going.” With him relenting to her wishes Iashi moved to depart the room, only stopping briefly to say, “That thing you asked me about.”
“The way your tone darkened, can I safely assume it is true?”
“Ahh,” He responded though did not give her an opportunity to question. Once outside, he leaned against the office door. Kazuma was making his first and most destructive move against the Kari Foundation. Calling forth the Kari to return to Shimragata and stand at his side. The damage it would do was insurmountable. Eventually, even Iashi would have to answer Kazuma’s call. Only for a while could he put it off, but there would come a time when he would have to make his choice known and Kazuma would mark him a traitor to his blood.