“How long do you intend to lurk, snake?” Zen questioned as he readied himself for an exchange of words.
“Oh, it seems I got the attention of a rather dangerous dog. Are you going to tuck your tail between your legs again?”
“Your recollection of our last encounter is insulting. It was you who slithered away.”
The Ishi didn’t seem fazed by Zen’s response as he nonchalantly stated, “I had somewhere I needed to be.”
“And your reason for being here?”
Zen could feel the eyes of the Ishi man upon him as his question lingered there with no response. Unlike other Kari men, he was not prone to agitation. Nor was he hotblooded. The silence didn’t trouble him or disturb his patience. He could wait, as long as it took for the snake to answer.
“Reincarnation is a fucked up thing. In one life you could be someone important and in the next some piece of shit that gets caught with his hand in another person’s cookie jar. It is fitting burying him here underneath this tree. It is where he lost his life the first time.” The Ishi paused only a moment, “I didn’t mourn him then and I won’t now; some people get what they deserve.”
Swiftly, Zen’s attention fell upon the Ishi. It was not as though he had any feelings regarding Kyo Kari to begin with. They shared the same blood and that was it, but the words of the snake stung. It had nothing to do with them being fanciful. In fact, Zen believed he was speaking the truth. What bothered him was how this snake knew it.
It was not information you could just happen upon. His clan would never reveal the true reasons that Kyo Kari lost his life. As for the other part, the Tylo certainly had the ability to see the past, the present, and the future. This would allow them to witness past lives of individuals if one had the skill, but as far as Zen knew Tationy had been kept away from the Ishi.
“I finally unnerved you.”
“You are mistaken,” Zen stated as he looked away.
“Oh, you are probably right. This lowly Ishi could never contend with a Lord of the Waichia.”
“So, he noticed,” Zen thought to himself. This snake was truly a troublesome pest. Taking a breath, he kept his composure while responding swiftly, “Your behavior and motives are questionable where Tationy and Hiko are concerned. Had it been a single encounter, I could have overlooked it. However, you continually have displayed a level of stalking…”
The Ishi cut him off, “Oh, who do you think I am stalking exactly?”
Even his mother’s blood was not strong enough to penetrate the Ishi’s guarded thoughts. The snakes mind was like a pond rippling from the casting of a skipped stone. It never calmed and that made it impossible for Zen to see the predator’s motives.
Quietly Zen stated, “Your actions will no longer go unchecked.”
“Oh,” It was clear he was amused, “Are you going to be the Kari to put me in my place?
Zen allowed his gaze to slowly fix upon the snake, “That is right.”
The Ishi laughed, “Well, isn’t that something. The cute little terrier intends to take down the big bad snake. I can’t wait…”
There was no further need for words as the predator turned on his heels. Zen had decided the moment he laid eyes on the snake that only he was capable of handling him. It was not because the Elder and Shield were not strong. Nor was it because Hiko lacked the skills. Simply put, Zen was the only one among the Kari that could go all out with a clear head. He would never lose himself to the beast within and there was no way that Ishi could tempt it to the surface.