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   Chapter 41 Make a speech

Mending the Shadow By Elria Cortez Characters: 9596

Updated: 2018-12-28 20:43


Kana was ushered to a stage with a dimension of 10 by 15 meters which was erected at the middle of the huge training ground.

On the center are four majestically-looking chairs. The first at the left is vacant, which should have been the place where Akihito should be sitting. On Hideo's right is Kirito, then Kana. Although Kana is the Master-in-line, she is still in lower rank than Kirito as the right-hand man of the current Master. Akihito was standing behind Kana, as an indication that he has been taken from Hideo as her would-be right-hand man.

She looked hesitantly at Ken who was told to sit on one of the chairs where all the family representatives were gathered. They were placed at the front below the stage. Ken was seated at the right corner on the third row. He looked so displeased at his position. In his mind, if something would happen on the stage, it would take him a few seconds to reach her.

One elegant-looking old man dressed in a pair of black suits walked towards the rostrum which is placed at the left corner of the stage. Kana looked at him and at the same time, she was observing the behavior of the people in front of them.

"People of the Yamada clan, good evening." He started with a greeting, and his well-modulated voice resonated through the vast and open-air training ground for everybody to hear.

Suddenly, the merrily noisy and lively crowd became silent that everybody could hear the gentle breeze of the wind blowing through the night.

Kana was caught up in her amazement.

'Wow, this is discipline at its best.' She thought, and roamed her eyes freely among the crowd in a subtle manner.

"We are gathered here today for two reasons. First, to welcome the return of our clan's next Master, Lady Kana Kodama!"

The spotlight instantly focused on her, and she was illuminated like an angel.

Kana was surprised beyond belief, but she masked the nervousness she's feeling with a bright smile on her face.

"Lady Kana, please stand up and make a speech." Kirito said to her, and she felt plastered to her seat.

"Speech?"

'But I wasn't informed that I'll need one!'

Kirito lifted one brow at her. "Don't tell me you can't even make a little speech, next Master?"

She sent him a sullen look, of which he just answered with a grin. However, Kana is not the one who would back down from a challenge. So with a look of certainty on her face and a fixed smile, she stood up with confidence.

The microphone was passed on to her by the elegant old man, and she slightly bowed at him in acknowledgement. The old man showed a look of surprise, and he nervously glanced at Hideo, who kept a straight face. The clans' family heads lifted their brows in displeasure when she did it, while some looked amuse.

The Master bows to no one, except for the Oracle.

But Kana did not know about it. Kirito has an amused look on his face, while Ken was carefully eyeing everybody's movement. Earlier that evening, he received a message from the Mentor.

'There is an order to assassinate her. Tonight.'

Ken could not believe that even though she has been acknowledged as the next Master of the clan, somebody from the clan still want to kill her. He thought that if the next Master is a man, maybe this kind of evil plan will not happen. Based from his deduction, the family or families who plan the assassination could not accept that a female would be the Master.

Worse, the one who ordered her assassination employed the Shadows.

Ken smiled cynically.

This is one of the advantages that each Shadows' identity is unknown to each member. So far, only his identity is known to all the current active members. However, only he and the Mentor know that Kana is also a Shadow. The one who employed the Shadows to assassinate her did not do their assignment better.

Nonetheless, since the Mentor has accepted the job in order to protect her, Ken has to thwart all the assassination strategies that his brothers have prepared for her. The Mentor decided to accept the job because if he declined, the order would be passed on to other organizations, and they will have a harder time figuring out the modus operandi.

Ken's blood began to boil.

But it wasn't due to anger. It was thrill and excitement that he is feeling at the moment. He could not wait to prove to his brothers that he is still the No. 2. Tonight, this fact will be proven.

He will definitely protect the parcel that the Shadows have been ordered to dispose.

Besides, he would absolutely protect her at all cost, not just as a Shadow, but as his first girlfriend, and might be his last.

He would not go through the same pain and suffering of losing the one who is most precious to him.

----

Kirito noticed the determined smirk on Ken's

face, and he could not help but admire him. He could tell that Ken is inching to go where Kana is standing. He replayed their short conversation this evening, while everybody was busy preparing for the festivity.

Kirito was drinking his afternoon tea at around 5:30 PM when his staff called on to him.

"Master, Ken Inamori wants to talk with you."

Kirito did not expect that Ken will seek him out. However, his personality is not the type who would come just for an idle chat.

"Let him in." He answered and in a matter of seconds, he and Ken were sitting in his living room, facing each other.

"To what do I owe this visit, Inamori?" He said, eyeing the man who is younger than him, but has almost the same tenacity with him in terms of combat skills.

Ken glanced around the room, and when he was sure that there was no bug, he leaned closer and gave a piece of card to Kirito.

"Tonight, she has become the target."

Kirito flashed him a surprised look, but he did not say anything. Ken found his reaction strange. However, before he could say anything, Kirito signaled him to stay silent.

He looked straight at Kirito, and Kirito took his card wallet from his pocket. From there, he took one piece and gave it to Ken.

"This is my business card. Please contact me when you want to find a job, Inamori. I can refer you to some company."

Ken looked at the business card and noticed some characters written there that looked out of place.

'We know.'

His eyes glinted in understanding. He placed the card in his pocket and stood up.

"Thank you, Akatsuki. I shall go back to my room and I will escort Kana until she is on the stage." His voice was deliberately louder than his normal one, and Kirito nodded.

When Ken was out of his sight, Kirito resumed to drinking his tea. In his mind, he was wondering how could the family heads under the same clan would even consider to assassinate the future Master. This is the first in history, as all the previous family heads were loyal to the clan and they revered all the previous Masters. Even Master Hideo had never faced any inner danger in his 85 years as the Master.

'Time has changed, and so is our people.'

An illness that has developed from the inside has begun to creep into the clan that he loves so much.

Now, as he watched Kana standing with confidence behind the rostrum, his eyes roamed around as far as he could. His five senses were all in red alert.

----

Kana gripped the microphone tightly. The crowd was silent as her eyes wandered from the people sitting in the front to those standing at the farthest corners of the ground. She was told earlier that the people in attendance tonight is only 10 percent of the Yamada clan up to the 3rd degree. Because of the impromptu celebration, only those who are currently living within the estate were able to make it.

Nevertheless, the crowd reminded Kana of a school culture festival.

She inhaled deeply, and when her eyes settled on Ken, she smiled at him. However, it seemed that Ken was looking through her, for he did not even react a bit.

"Good evening, everybody. Ummm, as you may have known already, I am Kana…Kana Kodama." She could hear her own heartbeat due to the silence. Out of somewhere, she noticed a little figure moved, or glided. She squinted her eyes, ad she was almost sure that the figure is that of a lady.

"Tonight, is the first time that I would be standing in front of you as Master Hideo's great great-granddaughter. But with regards to the title of the next clan Master, I-"

A loud bang from an explosion was suddenly heard from the far corner of the ground, causing Kana to pause and the crowd to panic. A commotion has started and people began to run in every direction.

Ken stood fast and he was with Kana at the same time that Akihito reached her side.

Then, some of the lanterns began to explode one by one, causing more upheaval among the crowd.

Kirito was on guard beside Hideo, who remained sitting elegantly on his chair.

"What's happening, Ken?" Kana asked. Ken held her on one hand, and she also prepared herself for some emergencies. Then, Kana felt a shiver coursed through her spine, as if somebody is targeting her, or staring at her with such intensity. Using her trained eyes, she squinted through the crowd. The darkness caused her difficulty to recognize anybody or notice anybody suspicious among the crowd.

Then, as if being magnetically pulled, her eyes settled on a pair of eyes that made her gasp in shock. The lady who seemed to glide among the crowd earlier was staring at her without blinking from one corner of the ground, on the 5th row from the stage.

'How was she able to be this near when she was just at the back of the crowd a minute ago?'

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