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   Chapter 24 I choose this man

Mending the Shadow By Elria Cortez Characters: 10688

Updated: 2018-12-19 18:27


Everybody in the room was engrossed with their own thoughts on their heads. They began to mumble words that are only comprehensible against the person they were talking with. Hideo drank his tea while his eyes were closed. The two men beside Hideo Yamada kept their expressions unreadable. However, one was having a positive thought on his head while the other one has a negative thought.

Kana was stupefied, but Ken was indifferent.

'Interesting, ' Ken thought.

Kana glanced at Ken, and she saw that he was looking interested about the way things are turning out.

"Silence!"

Hideo's voice echoed inside the huge expanse of the assembly room. A sudden silence fell into the room, turning everyone's attention to the current head of the clan.

"If you have something to say on this matter, raise your right hand and I will answer your queries." He announced.

One elegantly dressed woman was the first to raise her gloved hand. She glanced at Kana's direction and gave her a daunting look, but Kana met her gaze, unwavering.

The woman then bowed her head in respect to Hideo, as she stood and carried herself with pride.

"Master, we all know that Lady Kana is indeed your direct blood descendant. However, she has been missing for too long. I wonder if she would be able to efficiently and effectively lead the clan as you masterfully did."

Her voice was enchanting, as well as her delicate features. She was the embodiment of grace and femininity.

Hideo nodded. Then he answered.

"She will be trained personally by me, I will still live for a while." He said, and by stating that nobody could accuse Kana anymore of not being able to do her duties well.

If the Master would train her under him, those who will look down at her would mean that they are looking down at the Master himself.

The elegant woman lowered her head and returned on her seat. Another man rose his hand and Hideo acknowledged him with a nod of his head.

"Master, for centuries, our clan has been led by excellent men as yourself. Lady Kana would be the first woman on the head. There is no predecessor of such an election. I implore upon you to change your decision."

The man did not even look at Kana as he said those words. He also kept his face lowered, and his head bowed down. He was one of the head of families under the clan, Ryuu Akashi.

There was an awkward silence in the room.

Kana wanted to speak up for herself.

'I have no interest in becoming the head! Just let us out of this place and we'll never mind your business for good!'

However, the atmosphere in the room implicitly ordered her to be silent, as Ken was doing patiently.

She has been inching to go back with Ken. She wants to ask him about the accident that No. 3 has told him. Although by the looks of it, she could infer that it was all a plot to take her. Ken did not seem hurt at all, and his appearance here told her that he fought his way to look for her.

He is indeed, her handsome bodyguard.

Hideo's eyes roamed around the group of families' head that were gathered in the assembly. His old eyes could tell that there are several of them who appeared to be dissatisfied with his decision.

"Akashi, " his voice was like a roaring thunder when he spoke.

"Yes, Master." Ryuu Akashi kept his face down, beads of sweat started to from on his forehead.

"Tell me, how is the head of the clan being chosen?"

Ryuu Akashi swallowed his saliva.

"It is according to the oracle, Master."

"Are you saying that the oracle was wrong?"

"No, Master. I am so sorry, Master. Please forgive me." Ryuu Akashi felt that his clothes were already soaking with sweat of tension and fear.

"You may sit down. Any other question?" Hideo said. Ryuu Akashi almost slumped down.

"Master, mine is not a question but rather a…comment." The voice came from another middle-aged man. He has a pleasant expression on his face and an easy character. "It is true that Lady Kana was seen as the head of the clan by the oracle. Nevertheless, the Yamada clan and all its families have been led by men. Even our country is a patriarch country. I would suggest that although Lady Kana bears the mark of the head, her chosen husband shall be the leader in her stead."

There was another round of inaudible murmur in the room, and when Hideo placed his hands on the tea cup and drank slowly, everybody became silent.

When he put the cup down, he has a faint smile on his lips.

"Well taken, Head Kinoshita."

For the first time, Hideo's eyes met Kana's, and she straightened her back on her seat.

"I have taken that into consideration and thus, I have chosen Kirito Akatsuki of the Akatsuki family to be Kana's groom. I'm sure that he would be a great leader."

The crowd of family heads fell into a complete silence. Kirito Akatsuki is Hideo Yamada's right-hand man. At a young age of 33, he was already chosen as his family's head. His accomplishments as a high-ranking soldier are known not just within the clan but also among the officials in the country.

He is, without a doubt, a worthy leader of the Yamada clan.

"Is there anybody in this room who still has something to say?" Hideo asked, obviously pleased with the reaction he got from the family heads. He didn't notice that a man who sits beside him has clenched

his fist in disapproval for his decision.

"Wait!" Kana's shrill voice echoed throughout the room, catching the attention of everybody, mostly Kirito's attention on her.

----

'Here she is, don't fail me, my lady. Show me that you are a worthy queen next to my side, ' were Kirito's thoughts as his full attention settled on the lady whose face has flushed scarlet upon noticing that she just became the center of attention.

Hideo turned his gaze towards her, and she stood up. She flashed Ken a hopeful look, but he did not even glance at her. She doesn't know what he is thinking with the recent announcement.

'He must be mad at me.' She thought.

She won't allow them to trespass into her dream world. Her world where only Ken and she exist.

"Kana, what it is that you want to say, my child?" Hideo spoke with a gentle voice, and everybody was so surprise at his sudden change in behavior.

"Grea- grandpa, " she cleared her voice, steadying her tone. "I can understand that you are talking about something very important here. But could you please stop talking about me and my future as if I don't have a say on the matter?"

Her words elicited mumblings from all the heads present in the room. A few women present gasped at her audacity to speak in such a manner in front of the Master. But Kana did not care. Her fists clenched on her sides.

"I maybe born in this clan and I don't deny it. But, I have been living more than half of my life outside the influence of this clan. So, I don't care about being the head, nor do I care about who would be the head. I want to tell you that I, Kana Kodama, will never marry Kirito Akatsuki."

She looked at Kirito in his eyes, and she found nothing in there but just a mere indication that he was listening at her.

The mumblings in the room became louder, and Hideo had to tap his fist on the table in front of him stronger than necessary to silence the family heads.

He then met Kana's gaze, the warmth on his eyes before has turned dominantly cold, and she swallowed her saliva, along with the fear that she was feeling.

"Kana, that matter, is not for you to decide."

She flinched at the weight of his words.

'WTF. Why should I let them decide my fate?'

"And who?" She dared.

She noticed that the man called Kirito never took his attention away from her. His expression was not in anger nor disappointment. If she could properly analyze how the corner of his mouth was twitched on one side along with a lifted brow and the humor on his eyes, she would say that he was, without a doubt, enjoying the confusion of the moment.

Just then, she thought that Kirito was somehow similar in character with Ken.

"The oracle has decided that you are the next leader of the clan, and that decision is irreversible." Hideo stated. Everybody in the room nodded.

Kana was left speechless for a moment, but the defiant glint on her eyes told everybody that she hasn't finished voicing out her opinion.

"I don't know what oracle you were talking about." She said, for in her mind, she refused to be controled by anybody else. She is the master of her fate, she won't let a faceless oracle decide for her.

Hideo stood up. The two men beside him stood up as well. Kirito understood his action, and helped him undress the right side of his kimono. He turned his back towards Kana. On his right upper waist, a visible mark was there.

It was a manmade mark that showed a sphere with a crown on top of it.

It was similar to what Ken have seen on Kana's back.

Kana frowned, for she knows that she has the same birthmark. For the first time, Ken's eyes glimmered with interest.

Hideo then arranged his kimono properly through the help of the two men.

"This mark, which is similar to yours, was created by the clan's oracle to the next head on the baby's first birthday. Only the person bearing this mark could be accepted as the clan's head, Kana."

She understood then, that she would not be able to pull herself out from this mess. This clan is not just an ordinary clan in the country. She knows that even though she would try her best to hide, they would finally found her, anywhere.

Therefore, she has to make her decision known.

"In that case, I guess I will have to reconsider my decision." Kana said, her heart started to flutter.

Kirito eyed her keenly, anticipating her next action.

Ken stayed seated beside her. After all, he is an outsider. If Kana will decide to stay here as the clan's head, it would mean that her safety has been guaranteed. In that case, he would cease to be her bodyguard, and he would continue living his life as a Shadow. For a brief moment, he felt an uneasy emotion creeping through his empty heart.

"If I would become this clan's head. I would choose my own husband." She blurted out.

Hideo did not respond at first, but he gave her a brief nod, indicative that she could continue talking. She glanced at Ken, who was keeping his expression unchanged.

"I choose this man as my husband." She then announced, pointing her hand towards Ken.

When everybody's eyes turned towards him, Ken finally realized what was going on. He turned his face towards her, meeting her flushed cheeks and adamant stare.

Ken's eyes almost popped out of their sockets, he was beyond astounded.

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