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Kin had arrived at the apartment of Miroku Tylo at around ten in the morning. Warning Tadayoshi that the young woman would not be content waiting around for a year to pass, he had not been surprised to hear that Tationy had left the island of Shimragata. He had seen her father leave the apartment with the boys so he was certain she was alone. The look she gave him when she opened the door told him that she was both sad and annoyed to see him. She had not even offered him a hello, as she turned leaving the door wide open with him standing there. He sighed as he took a step inside, sitting his briefcase on the floor as he closed the door behind himself. When he made it to the living room, she was standing there with her arms crossed, simply waiting. He told himself not to be sucked in by the power of Tearra, but his hand instantly went to her chin gently lifting so he might look at her eyes, “I can understand Tadayoshi putting a look like that on your face, but what did I do?”

“Why are you here?”

“Business mostly, but seeing you left Shimragata I thought I would come and check on you. Tadayoshi is quite unhappy…”

“What did he expect? Was I suppose to just stay there for a year pining away?”

Kin pulled his hand away running his fingers through his hair. Her question was a legitimate one that he really did not have an answer for. “I have never really understood my uncle, so I am probably not the best person to ask.”

He made note she changed gears rather quickly, “So you have seen I am fine. You may leave now.”

Awkwardly laughing Kin responded, “Wow. Tadayoshi must have really pissed you off.”

He noticed the pout that graced her lips before she spoke, “It is not that. I just…I asked him not to give up on me and the first thing he does is take off.”

“Zen and I both warned him that it was not the best decision, but Tadayoshi is adamant that you and he need time apart; more you than him.”

“This is because of Hiko isn’t it?”

“Can you really blame him? A man wants to know that when you look at him you are seeing him, not someone else. No man wants to be compared to another and when it is all said and done Kazuma will never be denied, it is his way. My uncle does not want to be the type of Kari to force or take what he wants. I am telling you things you already know though.”

“He doesn’t see me. How is it any different?”

Kin was silent at first as he considered her question. He was not certain there was a way to explain it so she might understand, but he forced himself to answer anyway, “It is like an illusion that feels real. This body of yours is just a shell. It is what is housed within that pulls every Kari man toward you. It is a dangerous tug of war between the control of a Kari man and your presence. Visually you might not be considered anything awe-inspiring, but the power you have is overwhelming. The outside and the inside simply do not match at the moment. That is because you have not accepted unconditionally that you are Tearra. When you accept your true self, the world will open up to you in ways you could never possibly understand.”

He could tell his words annoyed her as she turned away from him and spoke, “Is there anything else you want? I would like to get on with my day.”

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Inwardly he sighed turning quickly toward the entryway. He was certain she was wishing he would leave, but quickly enough he was standing before her with briefcase in hand. He did not even ask if he could move toward the dining room he simply did so. Kin was not here to play games with her, this was a business matter. He took a seat, began to quickly remove things as he spoke, “Make us some tea.” Demanding, authoritative, these were Kari traits and he noticed how she complied just as quickly as she would if it was Tadayoshi or Hiko directing her. He was certain she hated that part of herself. Kin understood what it was like to have a part of you that felt separate from whom you really were.

When the tea was situated she joined Kin at the dining room table. He had been quiet and even though he seemed as though he was lost in thought he was not distracted. Her voice broke up the silence, “What is this about?”

He lifted a document, “Do you want me to read it to you?”

“No I can,” She responded as she took the paper from his hand. As she was reading Kin provided her a pen for when she was ready to sign the papers. She noticeably sighed, “It feels so final when you actually see it in print.”

“I need you to sign it.”

“But…”

“Tationy in a couple of weeks this situation with Hiko and Seiji is going to be resolved. For the past month plans have been made. Hiko is not coming back neither is Seiji. The whole world is going to know it soon enough. I need you to sign this document and date it for the twenty fourth of next month. I will file it then.”

“I don’t…”

“Have you changed your mind about wanting to care for Osa?”

“No never. I adore him, but what if it is not what he wants? I am the reason this…”

“Don’t. Don’t belittle the Kari and the Shima by making this all about you. They have held hatred for each other since the War of the Kingdom. With or without your involvement, eventually one would have acted against the other. This is nothing new. You spilling everything to Seiji just moved things forward at a quicker pace.”

Tationy bowed her head, “I did not mean to make it about me.”

Kin tried to keep his emotions well concealed as he turned to face her, “Tadayoshi is quite upset. He was hoping you would not be a part of this.”

“What do you mean?”

“With you safely on Shimragata with the boys, the Kari could handle this situation by saying that you and the children were heartbroken over this tragedy. With you here, you will become the face of the Kari pain. The paparazzi and reporters are going to be all over you.”

“I am no one though.”

“You are the woman that Hiko Kari spent over five and a half years at the side of. You are the woman he loved. You are the mother of his child. The public is going to want to watch you. That fishbowl lifestyle that Hiko protected you from, he can’t protect you from any longer. The most recognizable face in all of Aslann is not that of the Kari, but that of the woman that stood at the side of the most powerful man. More powerful than the Emperor and even more powerful than the Prime Minister. You are the face of the Kari and the people of Aslann are going to watch you intently in hopes that you might fall.”

“I get it. It is like when a famous person is involved in some sort of scandal. Pain and heartache sells. Is Tadayoshi really mad at me for coming here?”

“He can’t protect you from this storm. Kari men do not like to feel weak and helpless.”

“I should go back then.”

“It is too late now people already know you are here in Bridgeport,” Kin responded.

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She tried to escape as she quickly stood the chair scrapping against the floor. Tationy did not get very far though as Kin with his long legs closed the distance and blocked her path. “Running is not going to help anything.”

“What if I mess up? What if I say something I am not suppose too? What if…”

“What if, what if,” He repeated, “You cannot get hung up on things like that. Let Zen and I worry about crisis management. You just need to be you.”

“That has not worked well for me so far.”

Kin had been about to respond, but the ringing of the doorbell interrupted their conversation, “Are you expecting someone?”

“No.”

His features knitted in concern as he moved back toward the table. He did not want the documents lying out where anyone could see them. Responding as he worked, “Answer it.”

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Kin had not stopped what he was doing to watch her. Instead, he listened as he quickly put the legal documents away. “May I help you?” Her voice was soft and tentative, which told Kin that she did not recognize the men at the door or at the very least did not know them.

A male with a voice in the lower ranges spoke, “I am Detective Guiren Takahashi and this is my partner Detective Kiyoshi Kensuku. You are a hard person to locate Miss Tylo.”

There was surprise in her voice, “You have been looking for me? Did something happen? What is this about?”

With a frown Kin moved quicker, latching his briefcase and walking toward the hallway where he leaned casually. The Kensuku with the piercing eyes drew his attention away from Tationy rather quickly and toward Kin as the man with the lower range voice and glasses spoke, “Perhaps it would be best if we step inside and have this conversation. I am sure you do not wish for your neighbors to hear.”

“Of course.” Kin noticed how tense Tationy was as she stepped aside and the two detectives made their way inside the apartment as Tationy closed the door behind them. “You said I am hard to locate, why have you been looking for me?”

“Is it alright to speak freely?” Detective Takahashi questioned as he looked upon Kin.

“Detectives, please what is this about?”

“It is about your assault,” The Kensuku finally spoke.

Kin noticed how Tationy turned away quickly dealing with the unpleasantness as she always had; pretending as though it did not exist, “Would you like some tea or coffee detectives?”

Blocking her path to the kitchen Kin spoke, “Not this time Tationy. You have been running from this long enough.” The irritation was clear on her face, “Detectives, this situation is rather delicate. As Tationy’s legal representation I have to insist that whatever she tells you remains off the record. If even a hint of it is leaked to the press, the Kari will make it unpleasant for you.”

Detective Takahashi spoke, “My partner and I only recently received this case. The previous detectives did not wish to follow up on it, but our Captain feels it is necessary with such an important figure. The fiance of the most powerful man in Aslann is assaulted, the department will not rest until the person responsible is dealt with. Off the record or on the record, unpleasant or not unpleasant, you would not be the first man of power to threaten my career. Regardless, my job is to speak for the victims and bring them justice. If she wishes for it to remain off the record we will respect that, but it will not stop us from doing our jobs.”

There was a silent standoff as the three men stared each other down. Tationy noticeably sighed, “Let’s just get this over with.”

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She had gestured for the detectives to take a seat as she maneuvered herself to the love-seat. Kin took a seat next to her, his elbows rested to his knees as he rubbed the back of his head. His eyes shifted to her hands when he noticed how she placed them in her lap. This was her Yamada mother’s influence, he was certain, “Ask me your questions.”

“Your assault was reported on the Seventeenth of November…”

“Yes, I already know it was reported by the doctor I saw. Just please, get to your questions.”

Kin avoided eye contact as he kept his eyes focused in on her hands. He was not certain he wanted to hear what transpired. He felt it was better if Zen was here to handle this situation, but he supposed it was probably a good thing he had stopped by. Both detectives were silent for a time, before the Kensuku finally spoke up, “I saw you at the airport in Garvator not long ago.”

“I thought you looked familiar.”

“You and Hiko Kari put on a good show for the people that were around.”

“Detective you are mistaken.”

“No, I don’t think I am. I know what the face of a victim looks like and what it looks like when she is with the man that is the cause of that pain. Are you going to tell us what happened, off the record or would you like me to tell you what I think happened?”

There was a long pause and Kin was certain that Tationy was contemplating her words. This Kensuku detective was perceptive, but the Takahashi with him did not seem surprised by his partners words which told Kin that they both already suspected that the person responsible was probably Hiko. “When I first laid my eyes on him, I did not even like him. Does that surprise you detective? Hiko is an arrogant man willing to use money to get whatever he wants. He thinks himself capable of buying anything and anyone. Truth is, it is those things that make him attractive; power and influence. There is nothing quite like a man capable of crushing anyone that gets in his way. Those types of men are delicate though. Their egos are easily bruised. You have to be very careful how you handle them, but that is really the core of this incident. I broke him. What type of woman am I to break a man I knew was delicate? Such an awful woman I am.”

“Miss Tylo it was not your fault.”

“Wasn’t it? In those dramas they are always telling the woman it was not her fault. That there was nothing she could have done. That is not true. To say such things diminishes the power I have as a woman. I am just as capable of being a heartless creature as any man is. I am just as capable of destroying someone’s life. How is what I did any different? Simply because I did not take him by force, does not mean my wrong against him was any less damaging. The body heals, the body will always heal. The mind though is not as resilient. I toyed with the heart of a man not capable of handling it and there were consequences. The most painful part of it all, was not what he did. It was that I could not look at him the same way after even though I desperately wanted too.”

“You forgave him.” The Kensuku detective responded and Kin could tell he was genuinely surprised.

“Forgiving him was easy. It was myself I can’t seem to find forgiveness for.”

“Miss Tylo,” Detective Takahashi spoke, “Please tell us what happened.”

“There had been a distance between us. It had been growing and festering for at least a year. I had considered leaving him. Had my good friend told me too, I definitely would have. I just needed the push that I was making the right decision because I was certain that Hiko no longer loved me. When we arrived on Shimragata things had not changed. He kept his distance and I allowed the loneliness to get the better of me. His cousin Sesiago pursued and I allowed him, even gave in. Hiko knew the moment he looked at me. It was not like I could hide anything from him. He had always been so gentle and I turned him into a monster. I am such a terrible woman.”

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Kin watched her as she moved toward the window. For a time she stood there silently and the detectives waited for her to continue speaking. She eventually turned to face them and Kin’s piercing gaze locked on her face. He could not recognize her expression, “Does knowing everything he did serve some purpose, after all it is not as though you can prosecute him. The assault happened on Shimragata. That means your investigation means nothing. Only the Kari have the power to handle this matter and Hiko is the power of the Kari. I wonder what he will do when he finds out you know.”

Inwardly Kin laughed and thought to himself what an evil woman Tationy was, “Are you threatening us?”

“I do not have the power to threaten you detective or maybe I do. I wonder what type of woman I am standing at the side of a man like Hiko Kari. He and I must truly be cut from the same cloth, don’t you think?” Her head tilted to the side as her lips pursed. Her eyes were distant, “A woman has to be strong to stand at the side of a Kari man. Sacrifice more than you could imagine. What he did, lingers and no amount of scrubbing my skin makes the images in my head go away. Funny how that happens. The body taken and yet it is my mind that was broken. He and I are even detectives after all it was I who “shot first”. Men as insignificant and powerless as you, can do nothing to help a woman like me. I will tell you though, every detail until there is nothing left to tell. Maybe giving my burden to you, will allow me to sleep one night without those images in my head.”

Kin wished he was anywhere else as he listened to her tell them about how Hiko had rammed his fingers inside of her, forced her to taste herself and Sesiago. How he loved pulling her hair as he pinned her to the bed from behind. That he even took delight in hitting her. If she tried to lie there, that just made him angry because he was only happy when she was experiencing anguish and a silent woman taking her punishment did nothing for him. No Hiko wanted her to suffer so she screamed out for him because he wanted her too. Some might say she was doing what was needed to save her life, but Tationy seemed to feel differently about it. She called it, giving the man she loved what he wanted and taking the punishment she felt that a wicked woman like her deserved. No amount of telling her it was not her fault seemed to do any good. She considered herself a horrible woman because she cheated and went so far as to say that there was nothing in this world worse than that as far as she was concerned. An ugly vile creature, those were the words she used to describe herself.

Not a single bit of the ugliness was hidden from the detectives. In the end, when she finally finished speaking there was silence from all parties until Tationy excused herself to freshen up the tea. “She needs counseling,” The Kensuku detective spoke.

“I will see that she gets the help she needs.”

“Forgive me for saying, Mr. Kari. This environment is hardly a healthy one for her. Forcing her to remain at the side….”

“Detective Takahashi, we are not forcing her to do anything. Tationy stays at the side of Hiko, because she chooses too. Anyone that thinks her a doormat submitting to the will of any man does not understand who she is. It takes far more strength to stay at the side of someone you loathe entirely then it does to walk away. Certainly, there is much she could lose, but at the expanse of her very soul she stays at the side of a man that did great harm to her; not because she is afraid of him, but because if she leaves him he will never recover. A man with as much power as Hiko Kari gets there by sacrificing parts of himself. It is those parts that she fulfills. Without her at his side, it is the world that would suffer. She is the hand that guides the heart of Hiko Kari, for that matter the Kari as a whole.”

Kin noticed the exchange of looks between the two detectives before the Kensuku finally spoke, “This is about the old story of the Queen of the Gods. That reincarnation story. You Kari think she is some sort of benevolent vessel.” Kin had given the Kensuku a quizzical look, “I have a degree in religious studies from the University of Sobatole. There is an entire semester devoted to Ariskoka; the Kari religion.”

“Don’t think because you learned a bit about us in some class that you will understand what moves us detective. The Kensuku worshiped the Queen of the Gods more vigorously than any other clan. Even to this day the Kensuku are known to go to great lengths to protect the image of the beautiful goddess. What would your family think if it were to be discovered that the reincarnate of Tearra was raped by the “false king”?”

“False king,” Detective Takahashi questioned.

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“A Kari believed to be so powerful that the Goddess Tearra’s eyes could be fooled into believing he was her king,” The Kensuku detective explained.

“I am beginning to understand why Detective Shinohara and Detective Zenaku opted not to pursue this investigation.”

“Detectives, as much as you wish to speak for her there is nothing you can do. As she said the assault happened on Shimragata. Hiko Kari is so far-out of your reach you will never touch him. It would be in the best interest of everyone, yourselves included if this situation fades away. Detective Shinohara and Detective Zenaku understood the devastation this would cause. It seems your Captain needs to be made to understand it as well. By the time you arrive back to your office, your Captain will inform you that your presence in this matter is no longer required. If you pursue it without authority….” Kin shrugged his shoulders, “That would be a shame.” The two detectives stared at Kin, the silence from both of them was telling. He hated to be the type of man to threaten detectives, but this situation could not go any further than this. “If you have no additional questions for Tationy. I suggest you both leave.”

The detectives seemed reluctant to depart, but they did so after saying their goodbyes and the Kensuku made certain to give Kin a business card just in case.

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Kin sighed, finding his way to the kitchen where she was standing, “Did Hiko coach you?”

“He always knew there was a possibility that the police would eventually find and speak with me. Sesiago had taken me to a doctor named Chee Hamara in Garvator. He knew that the Hamara were outside the power control of the Kari. It was his way of making certain that this would not be swept under the rug. Hiko knew that eventually even his money and power would not be able to protect him so he told me that when and if the police came to see me to tell them the truth, but also to remind them that the assault took place on Shimragata. They would not be able to continue their investigation. He was more concerned about it being made public than having to deal with the police. What if they make it public Kin?”

“If for some reason it is leaked we will handle it. Zen and I have already discussed the matter and denying it will be a problem. Once something like this is brought before the public, there is a domino effect and other women and men that Hiko potentially abused or even sold could also come to light. There are powerful men and women around the world that have dabbled in Hiko’s auctions, they have just as much to lose as anyone else and will protect themselves fiercely, but one cannot control everyone no matter how much we wish we might be able too. Zen and I have talked at great lengths about coming forward with the auction and Hiko’s abusive history after he is already publicly dead. Until then, we have to hope for the best and pray that the numerous injunctions I am hitting people with send a powerful message.”

“So I am the face for that as well?”

“I am sorry Tationy. Your strength is needed more now than ever before.”

“How am I suppose to protect Kazuma from this? It is not fair for him to grow up with the stigma associated with being the product of an assault. As he grows he will hear things said about Hiko, how and I suppose to protect him Kin? You tell me, what more do I have to do to keep my son protected from this nightmare?”

“The Kari will protect it’s future heir. You are not in this alone.”

“Then why do I feel alone?”

Kin took only a couple of steps which closed the distance between them, “You have Tadayoshi.”

“He has not even come to see me or called.”

Her words caused him to bite the inside of his cheek. He and Zen had both been rather unhappy with the decision made by Tadayoshi. Purposely distancing himself did not make any sense to either of them especially after he had told her he was not going to give up on her, “You have me.”

“Great. Just what I need Kari playboy number two.”

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“I am pretty sure I am suppose to be offended.” Kin responded as he placed his hand on his hip and stared at her. A half smile graced his lips, “I will have you know I simply have not found the right woman. I don’t intend to be single for the rest of my life. That might work for Zen, but I want a family. Little me’s running around driving their mother crazy.”

“Lucky woman.”

“Wow you are just full of sarcasm today aren’t you? I will have you know Miss Tylo, I have a lot to offer a woman.” Her laugh caused Kin to tilt his head, “Don’t believe me?”

“I will bite, what do you have to offer?”

“Well I am good-looking if I do say so myself.”

“Not lacking in confidence obviously.”

“Of course, I am Kari. Confidence generally comes in abundance for most of us. I am rich.”

She laughed, “Just another Kari man that thinks he can buy whatever he wants, even love.”

“If that were the case, I imagine I would be married with thirteen children by now.”

“Are you out of your mind? No woman in her right mind is going to have thirteen children.”

“Why not, kids are great. They look at everything with big eyes of curiosity. Children give you so much and all they ask for in return is that you love them. Why would any woman not want to have thirteen? Unconditional love that is what children are. Doesn’t Kazuma bring you joy every day?”

“He does.”

“If you had the chance, wouldn’t you want to have twelve more just like him?”

“Maybe not just like him, after all he is just like his father. Quite the handful.”

“Most Kari men are.”

“Why do I get the impression we are talking about different things?’

“Was it my smirk that gave it away?”

She avoided the question even after he blatantly flirted with her, “So, you are rich, good-looking, want a big family, what else?”

“Oh, want to know more do you? Well I have a job. A pretty good one if I do say so myself. It is not as though I am lacking in power. Of course I might not be as powerful as Hiko Kari, but I am no slouch. Did I mention I am good-looking?” Tationy had a soft laugh, which Kin thought was nice to hear considering the past few times they were in the same place she seemed rather unhappy. “I would ask you if you are interested, but playing with you is the equivalent of playing with fire.”

“Afraid of getting burned Kin?”

“I am not afraid of anything, but I would be foolish to play with you. Tadayoshi would break both of my arms if I touched you.”

“Tadayoshi is not in any position to say or do anything regarding me. You should probably go though, I need to start fixing lunch…”

He interrupted her, “Oh what are we having?”

“We?” Her lips pursed and he chuckled under his breath, “Hot dogs.”

“I like hot dogs, besides we still have business to discuss, so while you get that lunch started I am going to call Zen.” Her expression was almost cute though it was clearly evident she was annoyed with him.

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Even though it was obvious she was ready for him to leave she went about getting lunch ready for when the boys and her father returned. Zen knew that this situation with the detectives needed to be handled quickly and he should have called the moment they left, but handling her was part of his job at the moment. Tadayoshi wanted to keep his distance and Zen assigned Kin who was relatively close in age to Tationy to “manage” her.

“Zen, I am still with Tationy. It is going to take me a bit longer there was an unexpected visit. Some detectives, Guiren Takahashi and Kiyoshi Kensuku arrived to see Tationy about … yes about that. They said that their Captain had assigned them to the case…..Yes it would appear that Zenaku and Shinohara were overridden. I trust that you will handle this matter. I will get these documents situated and have her prepared for tonight….No she appears to be fine. Holding up well. Pissed off at Tadayoshi, but that is not really all that surprising….” There was a pause in the conversation as Kin laughed, “Can’t I be the one to tell him that his queen is angry with him?” Another pause, “Right I will be back in the office in a couple of hours, see you then.”

“How is Zen?” She asked as Kin set his phone on the table and began to pull various items from his briefcase, much as he had earlier when he arrived.

“He is fine.” Kin glanced at her briefly, “Come and sit with me.”

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“You know it is difficult to cook lunch if I am sitting with you.”

Despite her words she had taken a seat and Kin allowed his eyes to wash over her face a moment, “I really need you to sign these papers. In a couple of weeks that plan I spoke of will move forward. Osa has no immediate family left. The closest relative to him is Tadayoshi, who is brother to Osa’s grandfather. It is not as though Tadayoshi has spent much time with the boy and even though he intends to help guide both him and Kazuma in the ways of the Kari, he needs you to care for the boy. I know you are uncertain, but the future of both of those boys lies in the hands of the woman that will nurture them. Tadayoshi has no doubts that you will be a good mother. That you will love Osa unconditionally as though he is your own. This is why your name is on that custody document. Osa has lost everyone in his life. His mother died of Glioblastoma. She was diagnosed when Seiji was serving overseas. After they got married they had decided to have children, so when he came home on leave they actively tried to conceive. She never told him she was dying. She decided to forgo treatment for as long as she could, just so she could have Osa. She never got to see him grow up. For a time her parents were there to help Seiji raise Osa, but he would lose them as well. While on vacation in Europe they were in a car accident. His grandmother died instantly, but his grandfather survived via life support for three months before Seiji decided it was time to let him pass on peacefully.”

“Why are you telling me this?” She questioned.

Kin continued to speak, “Osa lost his uncle Sesiago and not long after lost his father Seiji and his cousin Yayoi. The only person left to care for him at that time was his grandfather Katsu, who would also be taken from him. The boy told me when I spoke to him that you are the only person left that loves him. Certainly the Kari will care for him and treat him as our own, but we are acutely aware that he may grow up to despise us and seek his revenge. You are the only person that can love and care for him. You would not let Tadayoshi take him from you, trust that Osa would not wish to be ripped from your arms. You are his mother, so for him, you need to sign this document.”

“Tadayoshi is alright with this?”

“He was the one that dictated what I should put on these forms.”

“Alright, I will sign it.” She turned and looked over the document and as she lifted the pen she said, “There better not be some secret ultra hidden clause in here that I have to sleep with you because I am telling you right now…you are not that good-looking.”

Kin laughed, “Please, are those eyes of yours blind?”

No response came to his question as he watched her intently. She was reading over the document, not surprising because Zen did mention that Tationy had worked on many contracts for him during her time at the Kari Foundation. She must have been satisfied with its contents because she signed it and slid it over to him, “So Tadayoshi will be stopping by every week to see the boys then?”

“He will.”

“I would prefer not to be here when he visits.”

Kin took a moment to consider her words, “Have you decided if you will be staying here with your father?”

“Just for a bit, it is not permanent. I know I need to make a decision before school starts again. I need to find a job first.”

“Why?”

“For the reason any person gets a job because I need the money to take care of the boys.”

Kin stared at her before grabbing up, filing the document she just signed, and placing several others in front of her, “Tadayoshi asked me to prepare these as well. This first one is regarding the assets of the Shima. They have been liquidated and valued at just over 7 billion dollars. As you can see from the chart, we have paid outstanding financial balances which leaves just a little over 798 million dollars which has been placed in a trust fund for Osa. He will be able to gain access to it on his twenty-fifth birthday. Until that time you are listed as the discretionary beneficiary for that trust.” The look upon her face told Kin that she was slightly stunned and more than a little speechless, “Also.”

“Wait there is an also?”

“I have been working with Zen this past month dealing with the assets of other Kari. The majority of them have been divided among the surviving Kari or placed within financial holdings for the Kari Foundation and the Shima Corporation. Tadayoshi was insistent that Sesiago’s assets be liquidated and put into a trust for Kazuma. It was not quite as much as the Shima trust for Osa, so Tadayoshi and Zen both put money in to match the amount. So Kazuma also has a trust in his name for 798 million dollars. Which he will be able to access on his twenty-fifth birthday. Like with Osa’s you are also the discretionary beneficiary for that trust.”

She stood and paced, “This is too much. Why?”

“They are our family and Tadayoshi wanted to make certain that both Kazuma and Osa were taken care of. Which leads me to another matter.”

“Another matter, there is more?”

“He wants you to be able to care for them, so when we liquidated Katsu’s assets we placed them into an account at the Waichia Financial Institution. You are to use that money to care for the needs of the boys. Monthly you will be able to withdraw up to five hundred thousand dollars. Tadayoshi said if that is not enough to care for the children monthly to just let him know and he will have the contract adjusted.”

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She lifted the document looking it over, it was obvious she was calculating the amount in her head, “There is 33 billion dollars in that account?”

“Well Katsu financially was fairly wealthy, but 33 billion is not all that much,” Kin said casually.

“Not all that much? Are you kidding me?” She tossed the document to the table and he could see the stress and sadness upon her face.

Inwardly he sighed as he stood and made his way toward her. His hand reached out, “Tationy.”

“Why is Tadayoshi doing this? I don’t need the money of the Kari. He is treating this situation like he is never going to be there. That it is always just going to be me and the boys. I asked him not to give up on me and yet it feels exactly like that is what he is doing. Explain it to me Kin. Why is he doing this?”

“I wish I had an answer for you. While Zen and I both agreed that financially you should be given portions of the Kari and Shima assets, we both felt that Tadayoshi was taking it a bit too far. Not that you are not deserving after what you have gone through, but we both understood that you would not be happy about it and Tadayoshi, I don’t really know. I think he is worried he will die before you see him and that the two of you will never connect in any meaningful way. I wish I knew, but as I said I have never really understood my uncle.”

“Is there anything else?”

Hesitantly Kin went to speak, “Yes.”

He could see a combination of unwanted emotions wash over her features, “What else?”

“Hiko’s estate…”

He felt himself get choked up as she said, “No, please don’t Kin.”

“Did you know Hiko changed his will?”

She was holding back the tears, “I didn’t even know he had one.”

“He changed it a week before you went to Shimragata. He left you everything he owned even his shares in the Kari Foundation.”

“How much?”

“75 billion dollars.” Kin paused as he moved his hand down along her arm taking her hand in his, “Tadayoshi requested that Hiko’s house, the one he bought for the two of you be left alone,” The look she gave him told Kin that she had not been aware that Hiko had bought that house for the two of them. “I have the keys. If you decide to sell it let me know. Everything in it, including his cars have been left untouched. It is all yours. I opened a separate account in your name where Hiko’s money was deposited and I have the documentation regarding his shares in the company.”

“No one noticed that you have been shuffling around assets like it is nothing?”

“The Waichia and the Kari have a long-standing relationship. We do not ask them about their hidden accounts and they do not ask us about assets being shuffled around. Aslann is corrupt. Probably more corrupt than other nation, but we make things work. Four of the five great families of Aslann control it. Most everyone can be bought or manipulated. There is nothing without a price. Even though you do not see it now, you are about to become a powerful woman. You are the face of the Kari, but more importantly you are now the richest woman in all of Aslann, even more powerful than your grandmother Miso Yamada. This is what Hiko wanted for you. He wanted to make you untouchable. Leaving everything he owns to you, means that even the Kari cannot touch you without consequence. That is how much he valued you. I know you are upset, but I need you to be strong for what is to come. Please, sign these documents for me, Tationy.”

She pulled away from him, a slight awkward nod of her head indicating that she would as she quickly signed each of the documents he had lying there and dated them for the twenty-fourth of the following month. He could tell she was sad. Even though she was already aware Hiko was not coming back, there was a finality in knowing that the man you loved left everything he owned to you. Kin was certain that even though it was unrealistic she had probably hoped and prayed that someday Hiko would walk through that door and grab a hold of her. He could only imagine that the realization of it all left her cold and bitter. He left a stack of money, keys, and a couple of checkbooks on the table as well as several documents of value as he glanced at her. “There is something else.”

“Please Kin, I cannot handle anything else right now.”

“It is just a favor. Will you listen?”

She rubbed her face as she turned away from him, “Ask.”

TS3W 2014-10-17 20-43-51-21

“Takuya Waichia has agreed to meet with Tadayoshi regarding a financial investment. You might not be aware, but we have been discussing making a move to America with the Kari Foundation. The financial backing from the Waichia Financial Institution would go a long way toward that. Hiko and Takuya always met over drinks, I am sure you recall, after all Hiko always had you on his arm. Zen and I agree that Tadayoshi is ill-equipped at dealing with Takuya Waichia.”

Tationy turned to face Kin, “Takuya always liked to meet at one of the Shinohara clubs, Sublime it was called. Tadayoshi is a bit too, old fashioned for a place like that. It would be better if you met with Takuya. Someone of Tadayoshi’s generation could never understand or appreciate the environment and Takuya has little patience for most people. Regardless of how powerful Tadayoshi is, it would be foolish for him to meet with Takuya.”

“We have told him as much.”

“Yet he insist on going?”

“Yes. He feels it is his responsibility to make the request of Takuya in Hiko’s place.”

Tationy pursed her lips as she whispered under her breath, “Stubborn.” Kin found that he inwardly chuckled because other than Zen she was about the only person that could get away with referring to Tadayoshi Kari as stubborn, “I will ask my father to watch the boys, what time is the meeting?”

He was surprised she had anticipated his request, “Ten this evening.”

“Isn’t that past Tadayoshi’s bedtime?”

Kin stared in shock at her before laughing out loud, “Probably.”

The atmosphere of the room never changed, “You know I really hate you right now Kin.”

“I know.”

He noticed how she sighed as she moved toward the table. Speaking softly, “Kin, I need you to tell me everything so I know what to expect in this meeting. Talk to me like I am an associate at the Kari Foundation. Leave nothing out.”

A smirk passed over the lips of Kin briefly. When he worked with her at the Kari Foundation he found her to be diligent. She was not the type of woman to leave something for tomorrow or do half a job. No this girl, when she started doing something, she put her whole self into it. He doubted that people understood her, even the ones that knew her well. They probably seen little pieces of her personality and deemed her to be one way or another, but the seemingly passive doormat was a dangerous woman. He was wrong to think she was running away. He could see it more clearly now as he looked upon her face. She participated in the things she wanted to and everything else she didn’t care about. It was not about allowing a man to do as he wished, she simply wasn’t emotionally invested enough to care. A woman like her, could look at things objectively without getting worked up or heated. Certainly she could feel like any other person, but the way she guarded herself was like nothing Kin had ever seen before in his life.

To Be Continued

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