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The only words shared between Tationy and Kuro after they had departed Ishi Shipping and the conversation with Mikio was Tationy asking if they could stop to the market. His mind was too preoccupied to ask why and the silence on the trip told him that she was not particularly in the mood to talk anyway. Though Kuro could not decide if she was mad at him because she knew about the fate of the Kari Foundation or because he had told her to leave.

Either way as they stood at a produce stall he took a moment to do something he had not done in a long time; light up. Cigarettes were hardly as relaxing as an old pipe, but in a pinch it would do.

His murky thoughts were distracted as he heard her say, “We should get a basket.” There was a part of him that wanted to ask why they were there, but he remembered her saying something at one point about the lack of food – correction real food in his house. No matter, he always did like her cooking and she seemed to enjoy taking care of such things. Which of course instantly triggered his mind to something he wanted to address.

Several long drags later, Kuro spoke. “We should go to your place. Pack up your things.”

“What?” She questioned. It was clear to him that she heard exactly what he said due to the surprise in her tone.

“Let’s not beat around the bush. You cannot go back to where you were before. Thacian City, the Kari Foundation, and all that went with that shit. I wanted to tell you this last night, but at the time it was simply selfishness on my part. Now, as the Elder of the Ishi, I am telling you that you cannot go back.”

“What if I refuse?”

“Go ahead, see how far that gets you.”

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Kuro had expected her to offer some response, but she wandered away to grab a basket. There was some frustration by the complete lack of disrespect as he saw it. “I cannot just drop my responsibilities,” She stated as she placed the basket upon the ground.

He took a moment to consider her words, rubbing his neck, and staring off into the distance. “It would be better if you canceled stuff off your social calendar.”

“How callous that you make it seem as though that is all I do.” She stated with a pause, “Mikio must have told you that the Kari Foundation cannot be saved. He is being short-sighted. I will protect it by myself…”

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Suddenly he cut her off, “That is enough baby snake. You and the Kari Foundation are done. That man’s legacy isn’t going to survive no matter what you say or do.”

Kuro expected her to argue, cry, throw a fit, beat on his chest, demand him to help her. There would be no way she would drop this. Not this girl, not for that guy. He didn’t understand what it was that they shared and he was too afraid to ask. “Do you really think you can command me?”

He didn’t want to, but he sure as hell would. Though initially he could not even bring himself to say as much. “Don’t pretend you didn’t give me that power the moment you came into Ishi territory with those eyes. I am the Elder of the Ishi and you are a baby snake. Not quite as foolish as Bak, but it is clear the two of you are cut from the same cloth. Which means I expect to have a persisting headache.”

“We should see the butcher while we are here.”

“Are you ignoring me?”

“Of course not, I am simply choosing not to listen.”

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Blankly he stared. Kuro had forgotten how insufferable baby snakes could be when they dug their heels in. He took a moment of contemplation, finishing his smoke, and then turning his attention upon her fully. She seemed more interested in the produce stand, then she was in talking to him. “Look,” He began speaking as he watched her bend down to pick up a basket that was now filled with vegetables.

“I think this will do for now,” She stated.

“How long are you going to continue to give me attitude?”

She began moving around the market as she responded rather seriously, “Times your age by ten and there you will find your answer.”

He groaned as he wandered behind her thinking to himself that this was going to be a very long millennia.

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