Kat Walsh And Tationy Tylo
They had spent hours talking with police, being looked over by rescue workers, as those that protect and serve maneuvered swiftly upon the site of the fallen meteor.
There was so much ash and debris, yet not a single bit of it had touched her. No one had asked her how it was she survived. Not that she thought she could articulate it in any rational sense that would be believable.
Even after what had transpired, she put up little resistance when Bak insisted they get out of there. Maybe it was the way her body would not stop trembling or the fear that had settled into her heart so violently. The near death experience could certainly make her do something foolish; after all she had almost kissed him.
Her mind was muddled with so many questions and her heart was seeking out answers; why? How was it she survived when so many had perished? Was he a devil or an angel? What had become of her roommate Ameya? How would she tell her friend’s mother? How would she tell her own mother?
The conversation played out from start to finish; her mother and father would most likely insist she return home. A prompt lecture about how dangerous it was for her to travel abroad to begin with. Not to mention a quick reminder that she had been warned that they disapproved due to fear over her safety. Then, her mother would cry and her father’s tone would become angered out of fear. It choked her up just thinking about it.
“Running after what you have experienced is perfectly natural.” A soft female voice pulled her attention. Kat tried to hide her recognition once her eyes laid upon the woman, but it was impossible. Everyone knew who she was; the most famous and powerful person in all of Aslann. Well if you believed what they said about her in those gossip rags her friend Ameya loved to read.
The questions that had been swirling around in her mind were quickly replaced with new ones about why Bak would bring her to the home of a celebrity. Not to mention how it was they knew each other. Were they lovers? Someone like Tationy Tylo on the arm of Bak Ishi, somehow made sense to Kat as she considered it a moment before an amused chuckle broke her concentration.
“The look upon your face is rather bewildered,” Tationy stated. Perhaps it was because of whom she was or maybe another reason entirely; somehow her amused response did not seem rude to Kat. Maybe her emotions were simply to wayward to care. Whatever it was, the woman called the Queen of the Kari composed herself quickly and tucked her hair behind her ear, “It has been a troubling day for you and the journey is quite long; the road quite perilous.” Kat found herself wondering why it was when the Tylo woman spoke she found herself listening so intently, “He would understand if you chose to leave, but it is a decision where there is little time to consider.”
“What do you mean by little time?”
“A storm is coming; what you experienced was simply the first shot on a battlefield. There will be more. If you intend to leave Aslann, you must do it swiftly.”
She had not even considered asking why or how the woman would know such a thing, “What if I choose to stay?”
“To stay without purpose makes you a hindrance to those around you.” The words were so cold and direct; Kat was not used to anyone being so honest. Still she had no idea what they were even talking about.
“You said a storm is coming; do you mean an actual storm or something else?”
“A storm is a storm; the wind of which it is carried upon is ultimately what determines its form.” There was a momentary pause, “That is not what you wish to ask me though.”
Kat fidgeted with her hands, wondering to herself how it was that she was so readable. “What…” She gathered herself before finishing her question, “What is he?”
“Bak is just a man, protecting a girl.”
“No, he is … I saw what he did. He is no man. What is he?”
“You who has believed in only one god her entire life cannot understand the burden he carries without taking a hard look at your own faith. It is better if you simply see him as a man, protecting a girl.”
“Do you think I cannot handle the truth?”
“No, I simply think you are not ready.” The famous woman before her took a single step, “Today was very overwhelming for you. It started out a simple day off from work. A visit to a friend. Running into a dangerous man….” Her words lingered there. How did she know these things? “Then in a single moment everything changed. Truth is best accepted when you have no more questions to ask.”
“What about you? Have you all the answers?”
Tationy laughed briefly, “I am not that enlightened.”
Kat had opened her mouth to speak, but was shut down rather quickly when Tationy sighed, “They will start fighting soon. It is best we head in that direction…”
She interrupted her as she caught up with the departing woman, “Fighting about what? Who will be fighting?”
“Bak and his older brother Kuro.”
Stumbling over the words, “Kuro…the…the firstborn Son of Rin.” Her mind quickly flashed to the response of Bak when asked what he was. She really had no idea what it meant. It was simply something people said.
Kuro Ishi, however, was famous; dangerously so around Mount Celiabai. Her students talked about him all the time. He was what many of them aspired to be, despite his reputation. Kat felt apprehension overtake her heart and her body, which stilled rather suddenly.
It took her a moment to realize that Tationy Tylo was standing at her side. As though she had anticipated the moment Kat would stop moving. “Bak told you what he was and yet only with Kuro do you hesitate. I see his reputation proceeds him.”
“What I know of him is from the news and my students. They say he cannot be soothed or manipulated. That his loyalty is only to his blood and all others ….”
“Face his blade,” Tationy finished. “Are you afraid?”
“I never believed in any of this stuff. It was just stories. People that became legends due to personality and power.”
“Yet, you hesitate.”
“Sorry, this suddenly feels as though I am walking into the office of Vito Corleone,” Kat broke down and stated nervously. As though she could simply explain her statement away with rambling, “I like old movies. Really I might be nervous. What exactly am I walking into?”
“The lair of the snake clan.”
With apprehension she took a breath, “Alright, the snake clan. I can do this. Maybe I can’t do this.”