Unbridled – Chapter 4

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Tationy had awoken early the next morning to the sound of Hiko talking on the phone. As the CEO of the Kari Foundation, he was a very important and busy man. So, the call was not unusual from what she had observed during her stay with him. At least not initially.

There was a moment when his attention fell upon her and he stated rather clearly, “She is fine.”

Reality was such an unwelcome thing. On one hand she was well aware that she could not stay with Hiko forever and that Anjou would eventually come to retrieve her. While on the other it was extremely nice to be lost in fantasy. She could pretend to her heart’s content that she was not acutely aware of her predicament and that there was no unfortunate future waiting for her.

Still, that heaviness was always lingering and no amount of futile attempts at blocking out the world or the conversation she was dwelling on would change that. With a deep breath, the warmth of the sun and cool breeze calmed her.

At least it did initially, but then Hiko found his way to her. Desperately, she tried to keep the expectant words from dampening her mood. Anjou was coming, she was certain the man known as Hiko Kari would say as much. Still, he initially offered nothing in the way of conversation.

No news was good news or so the saying went, but then he spoke and what little hope she could muster was shattered. “Anjou believes he will be able to speak with the Waichia today.”

“That’s great,” She weakly responded.

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Every now and again she could hear him drinking from his mug as the two stood silently. She suspected he knew her words to be lies and was thankful that he did not question her feelings on the matter. Though, she was certainly foolish to think the quiet would last forever, “My father sent a text. He wants me to stop by and see him today. If you want to go, I suggest you get ready.”

There was a small part of her that was always surprised by the way he consistently changed the course of their conversations. Some people would probably find it annoying, but it brought her a great deal of relief. Truth be told she really did not understand Hiko Kari, but she felt at ease around him compared to other people. That was probably weird considering they had only known each other for a week.

Only a sharp reminder of reality could bring her out of her reverie and that came in the form of Hiko’s gruff voice, “Are you going to stand there and daydream all day or get ready?”

Truly, the thought of seeing Tadayoshi Kari again was both exciting and frightening. He did after all seem to dislike her. Still, the adventure was far too tempting for someone as curious as Tationy to refuse. So, she readied herself to make the trip with Hiko.

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The journey itself started off with questions. Much to Tationy’s surprise they did not take Hiko’s fancy car which they had used on every other adventure they had taken around Aslann through the course of the week. She did brave asking why that was and he only managed a short response about a lot of back roads on the two hour trip to Meratoia.

The travel time alone made her sigh and gave her plenty of opportunity to dwell again on those unwanted thoughts and her conversation with Hiko earlier that morning. At least initially. Eventually Tationy became aware that Hiko was continually glancing toward her.

“Is something wrong?”

“No,” He responded.

“Are you certain because I cannot help noticing that you keep looking in my direction.”

“Ahh,” He responded in the affirmative, “I was just wondering if all of your clothing came from a secondhand store.” Tationy blinked several times as Hiko added, “Did your grandmother buy this one for you as well?”

It felt as though she had taken a critical hit. With an annoyed sigh she responded, “If you have such an issue with what I wear, why don’t you just pick out my clothing from now on.”

“Alright,” He responded.

Tationy quickly tried to backpedaled as she stammered, “I wasn’t serious.”

“Then you shouldn’t have said it.”

For a while she grumbled under her breath. She wished she could say it was the first outfit that Hiko Kari did not like, but he actually seemed to dislike every piece of clothing she had worn the entire week. They were too pink, too frumpy, too boring; it was a very long list from the clearly picky Kari. “I am sure I am going to regret asking, but what the hell is wrong with this outfit?”

“It makes you look really young.”

She groaned, “Next you are going to tell me you do not like my hair.”

“Well seeing we are on the topic….Your forehead appears excessively large with that style.”

“Way to take the killing shot, Hiko Kari,” She responded dryly. Tationy did not hide that she was slightly irritated at how easily he picked apart details about her. So much so that she lost her cool and asked, “How would you like it if I was brutally honest with you?”

“I would like it a lot,” He stated casually.

“Well….” She paused as she bit the inside of her cheek, “You’re an asshole.”

“That the best you got?”

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Tationy pursed her lips as she stared at the side of Hiko Kari’s face. He was insufferable, but not in any conceited sort of way. The man seemed to know his weaknesses and without any hesitation embraced them. It was different from being around the Yamada who hid any ugly part of themselves.

Trying to unwrap the riddle that was Hiko Kari could probably take her a lifetime. He had no future; nothing, not even a flicker of hope. Tationy could not see any hint of what history he would write.

“Why do you have that look on your face?”

Tationy cleared her thoughts by shaking her head and looking out the window. Staring at farmland was a lot better than answering his question. Still, she was rather curious why it was she could not see his future.

The past came easily, occasionally even moments of the present, but the future was much harder for her to see. Other Tylo probably went through millions and billions of moments, but Tationy sometimes got stuck on one path and never seen another. That was what it was like for her own future. All she saw was her and Aoba at the end of it. How she envied Hiko Kari for not having a path forward that her eyes could see.

“Well, you going to answer me?”

With a wrinkle of her nose she stated, “If you must know, I was initially trying to decide how much effort you put into being a dickhead. Then, I was reminded of something Tsubaki told me once about some guys just having a natural talent for it. So, now I am contemplating whether or not I should throw you some sort of celebratory party to honor your high standard in dickery.”

Tationy expected him to get upset, but Hiko simply snorted and continued driving.

Overall the journey to Meratoia was rather quiet. Hiko did not say much after that, idle chit chat or questions about whether or not she was hungry. They stopped a couple of times for food and bathroom breaks.

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When they finally arrived, Tationy was beside herself. She was looking at everything as she followed behind Hiko who was keeping a pretty good pace. He knew exactly where he was going and seemed in rather a rush to get there.

Tationy though, she wanted to soak it all in. She smiled and waved, especially to the Kari children playing. The curious expressions just made her smile brighter and of course when her teeth became noticeable the Kari children would take off running.

She hated her teeth. Everything about them was just a sharp reminder that she was disfigured. Those kinds of dark feelings overtook her now and again. Tsubaki told her once that a dentist could reform the teeth at a rather costly amount; there were many days she thought that whatever price she had to pay was well worth it to no longer be seen as a monster.

With a sigh she mustered the strength to adorn a soft smile as she continued along behind Hiko only to abruptly come to a halt.

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Tationy could feel the tension in the air as a Kari man blocked the path. Certainly, they could go around him, but something told her he would simply put himself between them and their destination if they tried to advance further.

His eyes were securely fixed upon her. It was the same look she had been given at the Kari Foundation by its employees and the father of Hiko. As much as she wished she could say it was a look she did not recognize that was certainly not the case. Long had the eyes of the Yamada fell upon her the exact same way. She was blight.

It took so much more strength than she had to keep her expression as light as she could as the Kari man directed his attention upon Hiko. Initially though he did not speak. There was a silent battle or at least that was how it seemed. Tationy assumed that Hiko had lost because his head shifted slightly downward and he shoved his hands in his pockets.

Only then did the Kari man speak, “You should hurry a long. All things considering, it would be wise not to keep your father waiting.”

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Tationy nipped at her lip, but did not venture to speak until the two of them were alone again. “All things considering…” She repeated the words, “He means me, right?” Hiko did not offer a response as he began moving which made Tationy sigh as she dawdled along behind him, “It is just like being among the Yamada. They all hate me.”

As much as she tried to hide the pain in her tone she realized she failed when Hiko grabbed her hand. Tationy didn’t need him to make her feel better nor did she want him to. Initially, she thought about telling him as much, but when the words left her mouth they sounded vastly different.

“You are becoming awfully familiar lately with my hand, Hiko Kari.”

“It is the only way I can get you to keep up,” He stated.

Deep down there was a part of her that suspected he was just saying that to change the topic, “Maybe you should keep pace with me. The world might look different if you slowed down.”

“Between the fanciful ideas your friend put into your head and whatever messed up pretentious bullshit the Yamada taught you, I think the only one of us that needs to see things in a different light is you.”

She hmm’d thoughtfully in response to his words, “Granted the Yamada are all about appearances, but I do not think all of what Tsubaki said to me was unrealistic. Maybe if you ….”

“No,” He stated.

Her lips pursed, “You did not even let me finish what I was about to say.”

It probably appeared to those around them that they were arguing as Hiko quickly responded, “I do not need to because this is the same conversation we have had ten times this week about me being more open to the possibilities of adventure. I stand by what I said previously….”

Tationy sighed, “Fine, but if you are going to tie an anchor to my leg to keep me grounded can you at least make it pink or something. It will brighten my mood.”

“Ahh, I will see about having one custom made.”

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His words seemed to linger there as the two stepped into a small house toward the back of the Kari Village of Meratoia. “Dad,” His voice called as he relinquished her hand. He moved with a purpose and she allowed her senses to be distracted.

Tationy’s first thought was about how amazing it smelled. It was obvious something was in the oven being baked, but it was the little details; wood walls and floors adorned with historical decorations. All of which looked authentic and teased her mind with curiosity.

Eventually, the familiar voice of Hiko’s father responded, “You are late.” The tone was light and part of her hoped that indicated he was in a better mood than the last time they crossed paths. Sadly, she quickly realized that was not the case when he came in to view and his eyes settled upon her.

Silence blanketed the room and no one moved. Her heart felt as though it was pounding vigorously as she hid behind Hiko. It was clear by his father’s gaze that he was unaware that Tationy would be joining him.

“Is this some kind of statement,” Tadayoshi questioned. Admittedly, Tationy was confused by his words as she kept her eyes focused upon his very dour expression. “Well, is it?”

The tension in Hiko’s arm and back was obvious to her. This felt different from the last time she had witnessed father and son together though she was not certain why. Even with the question lingering there, Hiko did not readily respond which only seemed to irritate his father more. “Ahh maybe it is,” He finally stated. “Even if it is not, don’t you think you should be a good host for your guest?”

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Begrudgingly or at least that was how Tationy took it, Tadayoshi got her some tea and the two Kari men left her in the living room. It was not as though she could not hear everything that was going on in the house. It was really only one room, divided by a wall made of wood.

“Are you out of your mind?” Tadayoshi had asked that question of his son before. “I told you to take that girl back to the Yamada.”

“I heard you quite well when you said it,” Hiko stated. “No matter how many phone call lectures and demanding texts you sent me it was not going to change my answer. She is not your business.”

“The hell she isn’t. I am the Elder of the Kari and you are my son. This…whatever this is between the two of you, I do not approve of it. Take her back, Hiko.”

“You did not ask me here to talk about her, so why don’t we just change the topic already.”

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Tationy noticed the long pause that took place immediately after Hiko’s words. At first it had seemed as though Hiko had won round one, but then she heard the sound of something being placed upon a table and the irritated words of Hiko Kari, “Take it back.”

“Why?” His father had asked, “There is no reason for you to turn it down or is there?”

She was frustrated because she could not see what was going on. Certainly she was getting the verbal portion of the conversation, but she felt as though she was missing one gigantic detail and without it the conversation made little sense. “I told you before,” Hiko began, “That I have no interest. Return it.”

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Tationy could hear the anger in Tadayoshi’s tone, “Don’t you get it boy. This is it. If you turn this one down….” He tried to calm himself with a sigh, “There will not be another opportunity for someone like you.”

The words of Hiko’s father confused her. Someone like him. What did that mean exactly and what was being refused? She wanted to know and even thought about taking a little peek to find out.

“The only person bothered by this is you,” Hiko stated. Though it was clear when he added, “I am going to have a smoke,” That he was not giving his father an opportunity to respond.

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She almost got up and followed him, but her curiosity got the better of her and she stepped into the kitchenette. Tadayoshi’s eyes were upon her and she only briefly glanced toward the table. Just long enough to take in the item that Hiko had refused. She recognized it instantly, even the brightly colored pattern.

That was about the point that Tadayoshi spoke to her, “Is it because of you he keeps refusing?”

Uncertain what to say she only managed, “I think if you want to know why you should be asking him.”

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Tationy had a bad feeling as she looked upon Tadayoshi Kari. She always heard he had a gentle hand and was considered kind among his people. The hard stare he gave her said that he was not afraid to go above and beyond for his clan even if that meant being underhanded. It was the first time in her life she did not feel safe.

“When your grandmother stood before the great clans of Aslann and gave her word that you would never be a burden upon us, there was relief. We were foolish to trust the forked tongue of that Yamada woman,” Tadayoshi Kari stated. Tationy could feel her lips pursing tightly as her eyes locked with his, “Release your death grip upon my son, snake and take your Yamada sex elsewhere.”

Initially, she did not move nor address him. It was clear that he did not think she was good enough for his son and that was alright. She thought he was probably right. Hiko was wealthy and successful and she was dressed by her grandmother and apparently locked in the basement for the past seventeen years.

With a deep sigh she stated, “My grandmother called you Tadayoshi with the gentle hand. The kindest of all of the Kari.” Tationy turned her back and began to walk away, “How sad that you will only be known to me as Tadayoshi with the frozen heart.”

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Tationy was ready to leave as she stepped outside the dwelling of Tadayoshi Kari. She had hoped that her adventure would be as exciting as the beach and certainly it was, but a very different and darker form of excitement. The kind you did not want to repeat and that exhausted you thoroughly.

When she caught sight of Hiko, she understood that he was probably feeling the same way. “I think I made your dad mad,” Tationy stated awkwardly. “You don’t have to take me with you anymore….I just,” She abruptly stopped speaking. Tationy wanted to tell him that she did not wish to burden him further, but the fear of being on her own kept the words from being spoken.

Hiko though offered no words and his posture spoke volumes to her. Something was wrong, “How…how many of those marriage contracts have you gotten?”

His head lifted, “One or two a year since I was sixteen.”

“Wow, you are really popular. I have never gotten one, not even from Aoba.” She paused a moment, “I recognize the paper it was wrapped in. It is from the Kawazoe. That is a pretty big deal…” Her words hung there, “Why have you turned them all down?”

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Tationy expected him to change the topic as he had done so many times before. “I am just not interested in women.”

It was not the first time she had heard him say something like that, but in this context it brought about a question she had not thought of previously. “Does that mean you like guys?”

Hiko choked, “Don’t be ridiculous. I like women, I just have no interest in them.” There would be a bit of a pause before he elaborated, “Physically, I have never found anyone attractive and emotionally, there is just nothing I like in anyone I have met well except you.”

Her heart thumped when he said the words, but she doubted he meant them in any romantic fashion. Though she tried desperately not to swoon at the thought as she tried to coax him to continue, “There is something about me?”

“Ahh,” He stated though the insufferable Hiko Kari did exactly as he always did and changed the topic. “We should get going before the Kari chase us out with pitchforks.”

“Alright,” She stammered as the two left the Kari Village of Meratoia behind.

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38 comments

  1. HAHA sadly, I can totally see the Kari and their pitchforks, trying to run Hiko and Tationy out of town. Tadayoshi would be at the head of the mob, too. :\ It’s clear that Tadayoshi doesn’t consider Hiko to be a “normal” Kari, if his remark about “someone like you” is any indication. And of course, leave it up to a middle aged single guy to automatically assume that the reason Hiko doesn’t want to marry any of these prospective brides is because he’s sleeping with someone else. Maybe if he tried talking to his son, he would see Tationy has nothing to do with it.

    Kari men. Why do I like them, again? HAHA sometimes I forget…

    Tationy’s insecurities about her appearance really stands out in this chapter. Nicely done! It’s good to see how she is perceived by other clans, and how that impacts her. It hurts the heart, to be honest. Hopefully she will learn to like herself despite her flaws.

    • Yeah, cannot put anything past the Kari when it comes to those they perceive as outsiders. Yes, Tadayoshi would be at the head of the mob.

      Tadayoshi and Hiko have had a lot of disagreements through the years. It is a massive communication issue for the two of them. Tadayoshi does not ask questions he should and Hiko does not offer up information to clear up misunderstandings. Tadayoshi has always seen Hiko as being more “yamada” then Kari. On the flip side of that, Azu (if he were alive during Hiko’s years) would tell Tadayoshi that Hiko and Tadayoshi are just a like. That Hiko is more Kari than Yamada. In the end he along with Tationy have always been two characters that have never been accepted by any portion of their clan. When with one they are seen as the other, so on and so forth.

      Yes that remark “someone like you” was referring to the fact that he was “less Kari”. It is lines like these that are very important because we learn in the historical story there is no more or less Kari. You are Kari or you are not and while Hiko is considered quite questionable in the modern age, in the historical age – he would be Kari regardless of his Yamada blood. This is something that has developed over time with the Kari.

      HAHA – Now Kat…most men would assume it, not just Tadayoshi. This goes back to things that were said in previous stories about the Yamada being trophy’s. You want to show you have become someone, have a Yamada woman or a Yamada man on your arm. That is a big deal in Aslann to have one of your arm – they are in themselves a status symbol. We will learn more about the Yamada, but this is a clan that does not really do marriage at all – they are more likely to do child contracts (for an offspring) or unions to empower the Yamada. Anyway though, yes Tadayoshi though it, but he definitely will not be the only one. As we will see and have seen from characters like Seiji Shima, it s widely speculated that Tationy is on the arm of Hiko because she is Yamada.

      Father and son really need some communication and perhaps at some point they will talk, but at this point it is unlikely. HAHA, you like the Kari because they are interesting, uphold values, and are pretty to look at. ^_^

      Thank you. She has quite a few insecurities which were born and bred among the Yamada. These are something she learned to be quite aware of. We will learn more about what troubles her as time passes as well and whether or not she gets her teeth fixed. HAHA.

      • HAHA I was going to say, Tadayoshi and Hiko are two peas in a pod. Hiko might look more Yamada, but his personality and nature seem much more in line with what I know of the Kari. How funny that Tadayoshi doesn’t see this… Normally, I would say Hiko and Tadayoshi need to be locked up in a windowless room so they can work out their miscommunication issues, but I fear they would kill each other, literally. :\

        HAHA oh yeah, I forget that the Yamada women are the “consort” types, arm candy but not the marry-able. So naturally Tadayoshi would assume that is all Tationy is to Hiko. That is really demeaning, though you cannot fault the man completely for those assumptions, since his ridiculous son doesn’t bother correcting him. I like “certain” Kari because they are interesting, uphold values, and are pretty to look at. 😉

        Pfft, I don’t think anything about Tationy needs to be fixed, aside from her poor taste in clothing (which isn’t her fault anyway), but Tationy herself probably thinks she needs everything about her fixed, starting with her teeth. 🙁

      • HAHA, yes they definitely are. Hiko is very Kari. We will learn that there is no right or wrong way of being Kari – just levels. HAHA.

        Tends to be the way of things sometimes. Parents will be like – I do not know why he or she is that way, but in reality it is because they are exactly like the parent. They learned from example.

        HAHA – yes they would probably kill each other.

        Correct – It has only been touched on a bit, so most people forget that about the Yamada. It happens to be that way with both the men and women, but really the Yamada are quite a dangerous clan.

        Yes, it is quite easy for Tadayoshi to see Tationy in that light because other Yamada women and men have been in such positions. Very few of them actually marry. HAHA, well and Tadayoshi also had to deal with Ako (his wife who was Yamada) so he is biased from the get go even without Hiko being forthcoming.

        Yes “Certain” Kari – Kin, Kyo, Tadayoshi, Semei. Basically everyone but Hiko. HAHA. Could have just said that instead of certain Kari. It is alright Kat, you are forgive for not liking Hiko.

        She hates her teeth – I even considered “fixing” them, but I could hear Kuro in my head being pissed because she allowed the normal people to defang her.

      • I don’t doubt later we’ll be warm that but we can feel the bitterness he has against the Yamada and how rude he is with Tationy as if it was her fault, in the current time she’s so young to do something bad.

      • Yes there is quite a bit of bitterness from him. We will learn why definitely as time passes though. Got to keep something for later. ^_^ This was a hard scene to write, I did not warn anyone until the last minute that they would be upset with Tadayoshi. Everyone really likes him and they have not seen his “darker” side.

      • A bit? He was litteraly harsh with her almost insulting , she was totally not welcomed and he begs his son to give her back to her clan as if she was Satan in matter or as if she can bring misfortune in the village.
        I am sorry you have to deal with fans , I always considered all characters important no matter their roles , big or small equivalent. I am not a fan of one character , it could be badly taken but I act like that as neutral as possible.

      • HAHA, yeah a bit. It is actually that way. Not the Satan part, haha, but she can bring misfortune. Basically having Tationy there can bring the Ishi and other clans down upon them. Almost all of the clans of Aslann would give Tationy up to the Ishi, as not to put themselves in the path of danger. Tadayoshi would have done the same – turned her over to them to protect his clan, his people, his family.

        With Hiko not doing that, it can and does cause a great deal of complications for the Kari with other clans of Aslann. Misfortune is a very good way to put it. So in some ways she is “satan” if you will.

      • That’s an idiom I use even in French , when a person is cursed or is negative .My apologizes if you really think I considered Tationy as a demon.
        Ha yes she brings misfortune if she attracts the Ishi and I do understand now why he didn’t like Tationy around. The war can be come right soon. If Hiko doesn’t listen to his dad, it’s because he has feeling for Tationy or he’s brave enough to fight the Ishi if they come . He didn’t afraid of this clan. Yes that true a such girl around and the son doesn’t listen to the order of his dad always brings complications.
        But for Tationy it’s good to be out of her clan to discover the world as it is and not told by her friend.

      • HAHA, no worries at all. Some people think of her that way and it does not bother me, idiom or not. ^_^

        Yes definitely. Getting the attention of the Ishi can be a very bad thing, especially if they want something you have. Hiko is definitely brave enough to stand against them, one of the few characters in the modern age willing to do so even if he loses, but he never backs down from a fight.

        Yes definitely. It is good for her to be away from her clan/family so she can explore the world for herself. We will get to see her do that a bit. Should be interesting.

      • To me it’s an idiom nothing else I never thought wrong about Tationy and I won’t do.
        I can’t wait to read the following, it will be interesting to see how she’ll grew up throughout the story.
        That’s a main part to understand what she’ll become .
        What I liked also is when she tells him “you’re an asshole” , that makes him almost smile, such it’s a poor label. He maybe thinks she can tell him something harsher, that hurt him really. I think two ideas : he was disappointed she didn’t go more far or he pushes her to express herself entirely.

      • HAHA, yeah he was disappointed. He has heard far worse so being called and asshole was like *Shrugs* That the best you got? He would rather her tell him exactly what she thinks of him. I actually almost have chapter 5 written. So, perhaps soon we will learn more of what is to come.

      • Then yes it is from his point of view, if he was treated even more violently verbally, he can ignore it. However I just hope he realise for Tationy is a too much inappropriate word she says.

      • Tationy is not a very hold your tongue sort of person we will learn that as time goes on that in some ways she is worse than Hiko when it comes to directness.

      • Thank you I wrote and publish part 2.0.7 part 1 I hoê it’s visible now I wrote it in private before releasing it. I hope you enjoyed I romanced it a bit .

      • Good ! thank you to tell me . I was afraid wordpress works like tumblr that nobody see my posts after unveillig it. I published it leaked it was a mistake from me. I am writting part 2 and I’ll be done , I could read you back tonight.

  2. They have been staying together like what, a week?

    Oh, right. Definitely a week. Just a week and already going to meet future father in law? 😏 hehehehehe

    Like the first time I gave my comment to you when you showed me that particular part. Hiko! Like being a punch right in the guts! hahaha. And he’s going to choose her clothing from now on! YASSSS! hahha. Oh, Hiko. It’s good to be honest, but sometimes, damn. 😦 I never noticed her forehead, until Hiko pointed that out. 😱 hehe

    I like it when she can’t see his future! So mysterious! Why? I like her canines. I wish I have that kind of teeth, too. hehehehe 😈

    *nudges Tationy* But it doesn’t make you uncomfortable with him familiarizing himself with your hand, does it? 😏

    What statement? and what’s in that package thingy?

    OH, harsh, Tada. Very harsh. and seriously, though, “someone like you”??? what’s that supposed to mean??? ☹☹☹ and poor Tationy. Hmmmm Whoa. Omiai? NICE. I hate that kind of marriage arrangement, though. Hmph! one or two since he was 16. So, like, about 26 marriage contracts? *gasps*

    Wait. What??? Double whoa! An unintentional confession from Hiko Kari??? I know I know, like Tationy, maybe not in the romantic terms, at least for now? still, reading it makes me all giddy and giggly. 😍😍😍 hihihihihihi. OH COME ON! Elaborate it a little bit further, will you? Don’t leave a girl like that! then again, this is Hiko Kari we’re talking about. 🤔

    • HAHA – that future father-n-law sees her as pond scum, but yes she has been staying with him for a week. ^_^

      HAHAHAHAHAHA – Yes Hiko can be quite direct and does not hold back as well. Her forehead with some hairs lately looks especially big, I did not notice it either until the day before I wrote the scene. HAHA.

      Thank you. Yes his future is quite a mystery to her, though we do not quite know why yet. Eventually, the truth will be uncovered. HAHA, I liked them when she was with the Ishi, now they annoy me with some poses. If the mouth is not opened quite a bit, it looks unnatural. If the mouth is opened, they look fine. I have not decided if she will choose to change that about herself.

      HAHA – no she kind of likes it, but she would never admit it to him at this point in time. She gets all nervous and her thoughts go all over the place.

      When Tadayoshi ask if this is some kind of statement, he is asking if Hiko is trying to tell him something with Tationy being there.

      I know Tadayoshi was quite harsh in this chapter and we will most likely not see the end of that harshness for a while.

      Yes an Omiai is what some might call it. It is a proposal for a marriage union in Aslann. The young woman’s family sends a letter and a gift to the young mans family to arrange a union between two people. Yeah I am not a fan as well, but they are still quite common in Aslann.

      Yes about 26 contracts, Hiko has been sent and he has refused them all.

      Hiko has not quite processed how he feels about her, but he does know that he likes her. She is interesting to him and keeps things lively. So, no not in romantic terms at least not yet.

      Hiko is always changing the topic so things do not get elaborated on, this is quite an annoying part of his personality and Tationy eventually calls him out on it because it leaves her quite frustrated at some points. HAHA, yes this is Hiko Kari we are talking about, he tends to do that.

      • Hmm. If it gives you issues with poses because of her canines, you should do that. Make her go to ‘fix’ her teeth like Tsubaki told her to. \0/

      • Yeah, I am considering it and it is not something outside the realm of possibilities. It would make Kuro so angry. HAHA.

      • Hmm. Kuro will get angry if she ‘fix’ it? Why? 🤔 Still, I think it will be more interesting, add more spices. hehehe

      • Kuro would get mad because she is Ishi and she would basically be ‘defanging’ herself. Have to wait and see though, I have not decided what i will do. I just know that it is bothersome with some poses.

  3. I left the previous chapter feeling a bit annoyed, but I feel like I get Hiko…I do, especially after seeing him at his father’s home. In a way Tationy and him share a lot in common, in that they are both pawns who desire to make their own decisions. Tationy has become resigned to her fate though, while Hiko continues to fight against it…and he’s tired. Not an easy situation for either of them and it’s all peeked my curiosity more than ever as to how this will all unfold.Loving this story more and more <33333333333

    • I can understand – Hiko tends to have that affect on people. Some like him and some hate him – I really appreciate you telling me what troubled you about him in your previous response because I always like hearing what people think – good or bad – so I can give insight into how I see him, why he does the things he does, or says the things he does.

      So, I can definitely understand that some of the things about him will annoy people. It is good that this chapter brought some insight. His relationship with his father, Tadayoshi is very tumultuous. There is a lot of stress being the son of the Elder of the Kari, and he is under a lot of pressure and there is so much expectation surrounding him to be the best of his generation. To leave a legacy for those that follow him. That tires you. He is exhausted and he has been fighting on his own for so long.

      Yes, definitely. Tationy and Hiko have a lot in common and it is these things that strengthen their friendship and ultimately make them such a strong power couple of Aslann.

      They both really want the same thing – to make their own decisions, to have that freedom to not be controlled, not be a pawn or a puppet.

      Tationy has realy resigned herself to her fate and yes, Hiko is a fighter. He is not giving up and Tationy really learns from him that no matter how bad it seems that as long as you keep fighting, your path is never truly set in stone and this is really a valuable lesson to her to not embrace stagnation.

      Yes, definitely. It is not a easy situation they are both struggling. There is so much growth that they both need to go through to get to a point where they can be strong for themselves and strong for each other.

      Thank you. I am glad to hear you are enjoying it. Be forewarned, Hiko may annoy you again at some point, but deep down he really means well when it comes to Tationy. ^_^

      • Hahaha, HE BETTER MEAN WELL, or else you’re going to see a lot of angry protective mama bear comments from me, LOL.

        But nah, I do totally see that. Even at this early point it’s clear that he cares for Tationy and doesn’t wish to see harm come to him. He’s definitely an important ally to have amongst this political turmoil.

      • HAHA – I am sure I will. Do not worry he does mean well despite his heavy nature. Yes, very much so. Right now he is the only person standing between her and everyone else. He is really considered about what will happen to not just her, but the whole of Aslann if powers like the Ishi get their hands on her all the while juggling his own crazy life. So, there is a lot going to happen in the summer season. So much to learn about both of them, and still some very important characters to be introduced to as well – our antagonist. They have been mentioned a few times and soon we will meet them.

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