She hesitated, going over her options in her head. As a child of the Shadows, the law of the forest was sacred. To reveal herself to the Empress Dowager would be a violation of everything she held dear. Her world hinged on protecting her people and keeping them safe. Known as a shapeshifter she would be a danger.
Then again, there was Mally, a sister of the court. A daughter of the very clan Kyera was supposed to protect. She could very easily die from the wounds on her body, from bleeding or infection, both were entirely possible. In order to insure her safety Kyera needed the energy Akira could ofter, but was the price too high?
Akira could feel the internal battle raging in her daughter. It was hard for her not to speak, so she focused on tending the Empress Dowager's tea. The warm earthy scents of this particular tea was enough to make her sigh. As she finished preparing the pot to take to the Dowager, Kyera made her decision.
"If that is the price for your help, I will have to find another way. Thank you for your time, Akira." Kyera spoke with a sense of finality as she continued toward the door. Akira scoffed in annoyance.
"What is your problem, Kyera? She already knows about our kind. Are you seriously willing go let Mally die over a stupid code?" Akira challenged in disbelief. "How can you be so cold?" Kyera turned back looking at her for a long moment nothing was said. Kyera's tear filled eyes rendering her mother speechless.
"Cold? Perhaps it was the day my brothers died and I became the princess of a entire village that I had no idea how to handle. Their safety and wellbeing rests on my shoulders and mine alone. It has since I was 7 years old. Maybe that has made me cold." Kyera replied, the words flowing from her lips almost too fast for her mind to comprehend what she was saying. She fought back the tears that welled and threatened to spill over. "Do you realize finding out what I am could mean to our people? Do you know how many of our kind outside the palace I am tied to? Those who work in the village, hunters, servant girls. All of them could be at risk. I was captured two miles from the Bazaar. I can't chance it." Kyera replied as the first tear fell. "I have to let myself go. I can't have emotions. Hopes, dreams, or love. I have to be a princess." kyera whispered as the dams broke. "Mally is like a sister to me…" the words a soft whisper filled with pain.
Akira felt her heart shatter as her daughter broke into sobs. She wrapped her arms around her, pulling the teenager to her chest. The soothing motion was natural though foreign to both mother and child. Kyera had forgotten what it felt like… to be held like this. Whereas Akira had missed this sensation. The warmth in her chest moving over her body.
"I am sorry you had this burden placed on you. I never… that doesn't matter. I can't make up for their deaths. I can simply try to be here to help you shoulder it now." Akira whispered, lightly rocking as Kyera cried. The tears stopped and she dried her eyes. Akira let Kyera go, knowing the girl's pride had been wounded.
"thank you." Kyera murmured looking away as she ran her hands through her hair bouncing the strands so they fell more naturally over her back. Akira nodded offering a soft smile.
I rather like this chapter. Kyera actually gets to explain herself despite the mental difficulty she has making this decision.
Do you think she made the right decision?
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