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   Chapter 19 No other man worthier

Mending the Shadow By Elria Cortez Characters: 9621

Updated: 2018-12-18 15:10


"I killed your family."

Kana could not believe what he said. Her family died because of arson, as it was stated on the police report. Besides, when she was training as a Shadow, the mentor let her read some of the records to make her acquainted with the Shadows' modus operandi.

The death of her family was not a case assigned to the Shadows of the Wind. It was an act by another organizations who were just paid to kill people. Unlike them, the Shadows only accept assassination tasks upon confirming that the person is really involved in illegal activities, particularly government officials who are not serving the country as they should.

Her family did not belong to any government office. She knew and could remember that they were wealthy then, but she knows that her parents were born wealthy and they have a large span of land. Also, based from the Shadows' records, she has learned of her family's roots.

But Kana was not so into family-related issues, especially the past issues. She is living in the present, and she does not dwell in the past. She knows that she is, in fact, a member of the royal family, but she has no desire to be acknowledged as such. She just want to live her life the way she wants it to be, and be with Ken, for the rest of her life.

"Ken, I don't get what you mean. How could you kill my family when their death was not an assassination ordered by the mentor?"

She looked at him intently. Ken has distanced himself from her, he seated on one chair in the kitchen and placed his elbows on the table, while his hands were clasped in front of his forehead.

"Ken?" She asked, and seated herself on the chair next to him. She was facing him but he didn't turn to her.

"Your family's death…was a result of the mission that we almost failed to accomplish. Because we were not able to do our job on schedule, your family was killed."

Ken closed his eyes, he could still see the burnt bodies of innocent people in that house, and the memories of that mission came flooding vividly into his mind as if it just happened yesterday.

He began to relate that unforgettable incident to her, and she listened to him intently.

----

2008. 01.01

It was Ken's first mission as the lead assassin, and his third mission as a Shadow. His previous tasks focused on tracking the culprit or gathering the information. So, for this particular mission, he was so nervous that he couldn't even feel his own feet. Although he is being accompanied by the mentor and two other senior Shadows, he was hesitant to kill a man.

He has been in so many simulations before, as part of the Shadows' training, and the simulations felt real. However, he knows in his mind that on those simulations, he was killing puppets, not real human. This time, he was tasked to kill a prominent member of the cabinet, who was proven to be involved in treason.

Mr. Yamada was selling confidential government information to other countries that would be harmful for the country's growth and economy. He was warned prior, and if he could have just stopped from his treachery, he won't have to be assassinated, only to be put behind bars. However, he became greedy with the money and position. After he was warned and took the warning for granted, he was ordered to be killed.

Mr. Yamada came from an old Japanese clan who were blood relatives to the emperor during the Tokugawa Shogunate. His ancestors were traditional patriarch and have a deep sense of patriotism. In the present time, their family still holds major influence in the country's political system, and values their country to the highest degree. However, Mr. Yamada became too insatiable for his own benefit.

Because of that, members of his own family asked the Shadows of the Wind to investigate his affairs. It took them almost half a year to gather solid proofs about his betrayal. The elders in the Yamada clan which was composed of different families could not tolerate his actions and upon the family consensus, he was to be assassinated.

Yet, little did they know that Yamada was a cunning man. He also hired another organization to look into his family's affairs regarding him, and when he found out that he would be assassinated, he staged a counterattack. He ordered the organization to massacre his relatives who gave the permission to assassinate him. One of them is the Kodama family, Kana's family.

Although Kana's family distanced themselves from all political positions, they were closely attached and involved in the clan's matters as one of the main families in the Yamada clan.

When the Shadows learned about this, the mentor asked Ken to immediately proceed to assassinate Mr. Yamada earlier than the original plan. Mr. Yamada fled to the US to hide. The Shadows went after him, and o

n that night, he found Mr. Yamada holding some children as his hostages on his own room. He was prepared to commit a mass suicide, including himself.

Mr. Yamada should not have any inkling about the schedule of their attack, but he was ready. It only came down to one thing, there was a mole in the Shadows. The mentor was later on able to learn of the mole's identity and he was executed on the spot.

Nevertheless, Ken was able to accomplish his order, but it took him a lot of time. There was an American agent with Mr. Yamada, who fought with him almost equally. Later on, Ken won, but he was left with an X mark on his chin. He had to save all the children so he pretended to be captured, and he was successful on it. When he got his chance, he fought back, killed the agent and Mr. Yamada, and freed the children.

However, because his assassination was late, Mr. Yamada was able to give his final order to the other organization that he hired in Japan.

Mr. Yamada's death triggered the burning of the mansion where many families under the Yamada clan were gathered for the New Year's celebration. The Shadows were able to employ the help of the police, but the damage has been done. Many people were burnt.

When Ken and the mentor arrived back in Japan by taking the most direct route at 9 hours by their private jet, they saw the mansion of the Kodama family already burning. Some firetrucks and police cars were there, and after briefing with the situation, they learned that the fire has been going on for almost five hours.

Without second thoughts, Ken ran towards the burning mansion, his heart wishing profusely that he could rescue somebody. After searching for quite a while, he found a room which was on the middle of so many rooms and was still not as burned as the others. There, he found a girl tossing and turning on her bed.

He took her in his arms, and she was the only soul he was able to save. When he placed her outside of the burning mansion, the little girl opened her eyes and smiled brightly at him. It gnawed on his cold and empty heart. On that night, it was the first time he acknowledged that he did have a feeling called conscience in him, after all.

Since that night, Ken was constantly haunted with nightmares of the burnt bodies he passed by along the way while rescuing the little girl on his arms. He took a leave from the Shadows for 1 year, before accepting any job again. He didn't even know what happened to the little girl that he rescued.

----

The little girl turned out to be Kana.

He looked at her with guilt, hoping to find antagonism on her face directed at him. Yet, he found her looking at him intently, with a gentle smile on her lips.

She walked towards him, and cupped his face on her palms.

'She is so warm', he thought.

"Ken, I know everything that has happened then. The Mentor told me. I also know that it was you who saved me from that fire. I have nothing but gratitude towards you." She said gently.

Ken could not fathom her logic. 'How could she be so positive and forgiving after that?'

He shook his head, and pulled away from her touch.

"You should not be thanking me Kana. You should be hating me. It was my first mission as an assassin, and because of my failure, your family-"

"Ken! You saved many children on that same night. Are you telling me that you regret saving those children?"

He was silent for a couple of moments, for he knew the answer to that. She understood his silence, and she touched his face again, forcing him to meet her gaze.

"Ken, you saved me. There is no other man who is worthier to be my bodyguard than you."

She has spoken with truth, and she knows that her emotion was already overflowing from her heart that time. For all those times, she didn't know that Ken was constantly blaming himself for her family's demise. She should have talked with him sooner. She has wanted to make him whole, for she knows that he was broken when Yuki went back to her family. But she didn't realize that deep within him, he was already broken before, not just his heart, but his whole being.

As she looked at his haunted eyes, the solemnity of his azure orbs clutched at her chest, making her ache for his happiness.

'Ken, you are such a pure soul. No matter how tainted your hands could be with people's blood, your soul remains pristine.'

She pulled him closer to her chest, letting him feel how much she feels for him, how much her heart beats for him, and how much she really loves him. She murmured words over his head.

"Ken, don't let the past haunt you. Let it go. Live with the present."

'Live with me.'

She has wanted to add, but she knows that Ken's wounds are not yet completely healed. She has to be patient in mending this broken Shadow.

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