Akali looks over the piece of paper with a sigh. How could things go this far? How could things get so out of hand? She knew it wasn't right, but she'd let it run it's course, and now things were becoming real. They were becoming difficult to deal with, even. She'd never backed down when faced with a challenge, and she wouldn't now, but in the back of her mind, she was aware that she could have single-handedly prevented the whole thing with just a simple 'no, thank you'. But no; she had to be curious, she had to push things a step further, and she'd ended up here, with a piece of paper in her hand orders to meet with the head of the Kinkou immediately.
As much as she attempted to deny it, the girl knew exactly what it was about. She could make up excuses as to why he wanted to meet with her all day and probably well into the night, but they would hold no water over the one thing that stuck out in her mind: she'd been seen, trapped in an intimate kiss with a man who'd worked alongside her since she was only seven.
She was sure she'd be scolded, perhaps even barred from the academy for a couple of days, months,
who knew? As she rose from the mattress on the floor where she slept, another sigh escapes her lips. Was he even worth it? The man who made her blush in private whenever she'd turned away from him? The man who even at the earliest of hours, when she, no doubt, was supposed to be asleep, penetrated her thoughts? Was he worth the trouble of losing her job and in essence, herself?
As she stepped carefully down the slabs of stone that'd been embedded into the hillside, she lifted her gaze toward the building that loomed in the distance. She was here just yesterday morning, sharing a tender moment with the man that'd somehow invaded her life. Blinking, an image of him flashes in her mind. His dark, penetrating stare, the way that his calloused hands felt as his fingertips brushed over her cheek right before he'd leaned in.. clearing her throat, she focuses on the task at hand; the meeting with her elder.
Master Yichimi was a kind man. The wrinkles on his face wove the stories of his life; of the hardships he'd endured and the smile he wore spoke of the love and acceptance that he'd endlessly provided his friends, to his family, and his students with. He was wise beyond his years, and had worked hard to accomplish nearly perfect balance and maintain it throughout his life. Akali had always been close with him. She'd grown up with the man by her side, and aside from her actual father, he was the only man she'd ever found herself trusting of so it was no surprise that he was the one standing there as she entered through the intricately handcrafted front doors.
Bowing out of respect as soon as she'd entered, Akali greeted the man. "Master." She mutters quietly, standing up straight as she meets his gaze with her own.
"Akali, how kind of you to meet me after such short notice." He'd said softly. Of course she was going to meet with him, no matter the time of day.
"Of course, Master, what is it you've summoned me for?" She asks. Her cheeks grow hot as she watches the man sigh. He peers at her with what seems like disappointment, the crow's feet at the edge of his eyes bunching up as he frowns. Her reaction is subconscious, and she peers down at her feet, ashamed at what he was going to bring up in mere seconds.
"Akali. You're exceptionally gifted, and that's been known throughout the Isles since you were a little girl. It pains me to question you like this, but it was brought to my attention not an hour ago that you were seen sharing a kiss with Shen. Is this the truth, my child?"
The girl sighs, reaching up to tuck a bit of her hair back. "It is true, Master. Before you say anything further, I do know that the Order strongly discourages personal gratification and unheeded calls of affection." She finally looks up at him, so that when she spoke again, he'd know how seriously she felt when she spoke the next comment. ".. but I also know that we gaze kindly upon the sanctity of marriage and the ability to unrequitedly share yourself with another." She nods her head again, out of respect, as she waits for the man to scold her again.
"Akali, do you feel strongly about this man? The way you speak, you must, or you wouldn't bring up the prospect of marriage to me."
The girl before him swallows audibly. Did she feel that strongly about a man who's feelings she'd just become aware of yesterday? The two had known each other since they were children would it be that odd that they would end up together? Not long ago, the Order had agreed to rid of arranged marriage long before Akali was born, and up until she was ten or eleven, all women had men whom they were predetermined to marry. Luckily, Akali had her choice of who to be with for the rest of her life, but corrupting the sacred union shared by husband and wife was strictly forbidden. Suddenly, she speaks up. "Master, pardon my questioning, but" And she peers up at him, her eyes full of inquisition as she speaks. "wasn't it always the thought that most of the Order had shared in the backs of their minds? It's not that strange that two people that share the same passions and welcome the same sanctity of the balance of life would end up together, is it?"
The elder man peers at her with a hint of a mirth on his face. "That's exactly what I figured you'd question, child. Of course it's been brought up over the years we've watched you grow and mature into a young woman. Shen has grown too, and matured into a handsome young man. If this is what you feel is right for you, Akali, then I give you and him my blessing, my student. Perhaps you can bring him to the sanctuary so that he can be told of the good news as well?"
With a smile on her face, Akali nods, then bows, quickly turning to run out of the building with the news. All the old man would hear was her shout, "Thank you, Master we shall return!"