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Chapter Ten

 

Kitana and Kenshi spent two days walking through the woods of Edenia looking for a village to stay in. The thing was, the particular village they were looking for had to be secluded, hidden, and hard to find. That would be a problem because how would they be able to find a place that was ‘hard to find?’

Throughout most of the journey, the Princess and the swordsman did not speak a word. They knew they had gotten away from the Outworld army believe that they were currently destroying the nearby villages. Kitana thought about her Mother, her best friend, and all those she knew in the castle. She doubted that many of them escaped, but had high hopes that some managed survive, especially Sindel. Kitana held back her emotions and concentrated on helping Kenshi in their quest.

Just as the sun began to set two days after escaping the castle, Kenshi was able to sense people down a long narrow hill. “Kitana,” he said. “I sense people down the hill. Do you see anything?”

Kitana peaked down from her hooded cloak. She had kept the hood over hear head to conceal her identity from anyone in fear of someone from the Outworld army seeing her. She peered around where Kenshi had sensed people. All she saw was countless green trees. That was, until she spotted a few mists of smoke rising up from the trees.

“I see smoke,” Kitana replied. “Let’s go down there. There may be a camp there.”

Kenshi nodded and the two of them made their way down the hill. Sometimes, they would hit a very steep part of the hill. When Kitana attempted to climb down it herself, Kenshi sensed her struggle a bit and soon took her hand to help her keep her balance. Kitana was about to protest, but realized it would be no use going down herself in her high-heels. She let him help her down the hill until they reached the bottom.

Kitana looked up and was surprised to see that the mist of smoke was not from a campfire…but from the chimneys of a handful of homes. She watched as people happily went with their day which involved doing chores, talking to others, and the children playing hide and seek. She then looked around the land. They were completely surrounded by trees and mountains.

Indeed, the place was secluded, the perfect place for her and Kenshi to hide.

It was then that a few people stopped to see the two strangers standing by the edge of the village. Then, the rest of the villagers noticed and looked at them. There was no expression on any of their faces and no one was sure how to react.

Finally, Kitana moved her hand and removed the hood of her cloak revealing herself to the villagers.

“Princess Kitana!” cried one villager. Immediately, everyone got down on their knees and bowed to the Princess.

“Rise!” Kitana demanded politely. The villagers did as they were told. “There is no need to bow to me, but thank you.”

“We’ve heard about the attack on the castle Princess,” said an old man in front of the small crowd. He approached Kitana with the help of his wooden cane. He was a short, thin, bald man with his dark eyes half-opened and wore a plan orange shirt, plan brown pants, and wooden sandals on his feet. “We had thought you had perished like the others.”

Kitana kept her emotions intact trying not to think about the death of those she knew. “My bodyguard and I managed to escape and are looking for a place to stay.”

Kenshi tried to withhold a perplexed look that was trying to attempt to appear on his face. ‘Bodyguard? Must be a cover-up…’ he thought.

“You are more than welcome to stay with us,” the old man said with a small smile. Everyone behind him nodded with smirks. “And you whereabouts here will be kept guarded from outsiders if are wishing to be in hiding.”

“That would be grateful,” Kitana replied. “We thank you for your hospitality.”

“It’s not a problem. My name is Musashi. I own a house where I occupy for guests of the village. It’s not a large place, but at least you two will have your own room.”

“Thank you Musashi,” Kitana replied forcing a smile.

She and Kenshi began following Musashi down the main pebbled walkway of the village. Kitana turned to Kenshi and whispered, “I hope you don’t mind me calling you my bodyguard while we are here.”

“No, I don’t mind Kitana,” Kenshi replied still a bit perplexed.

They soon reached the two-floored wood-made house. Light smoke came out of the chimney on the side of the house. The patio in the front was small, but it was quite welcoming with two benches and a few plants scattered around.

“You two must be very hungry,” Musashi said. “Do not worry, one of the guests, Sapphire, should have dinner ready very shortly. In the meantime, I will take you two to your rooms upstairs.”

The three went inside entering the living room. Musashi then took them through the kitchen. Immediately, Kenshi and Kitana smelled the pot of soup that was being made on the stove. A young woman looked over at them, her long brown hair tied back in a bun and her blues eyes bright as day.

“Hello there…oh my Princess Kitana!”

The woman was about to bow, but then Kitana said, “Don’t worry, there is no need to bow to me.”

She smiled at the Princess. “Okay. Are you staying here?”

“As a matter of fact, yes,” Musashi replied. “Kitana, this is Sapphire. Sapphire, this is also her bodyguard…eh…”

“Kenshi,” Kenshi replied right away.

“Nice to meet you,” Sapphire replied.

“Have Keiko and Devante come home yet?” Musashi asked Sapphire.

The young woman looked in the backyard. “Keiko just came home and is teaching Cara to sew in the backyard. Devante should be home soon.”

“Good. I’ll be taking these two to their room now.”

Sapphire nodded and continued cooking.

The three soon reached the stairs and began going up them. Musashi sighed to himself. “That poor woman. Her and her daughter Cara came here a couple of years ago after her husband left leaving them financially stable. I let them in to this house to let her catch up with her finance. She has been doing quite well now and she hopes within a year, she and Cara will be able to get their own home.”

“What a story,” said Kitana. “It’s indeed hard for a mother to go on like that…”

“Yeah…well, here’s your room.” Musashi opened the door revealing their room. The room wasn’t large, but it was a good size for two people to share. There were two windows covered by red drapes, wooden nightstands on either side of a Queen-size bed, a single dresser with a mirror on the left, a case of books on the right, and a large, red rug over the wooden floor. The walls were painted white on one half, and the other hand was handcrafted with linings of clean wood.

“This is a nice room,” Kitana replied. “Thank you again Musashi.”

“A pleasure,” Musashi replied. “Dinner will be ready shortly. If you need anything, let me know.”

He bid a goodbye and left to let Kitana and Kenshi to settle into their room. Kitana went over to the closet door on the left back corner of the room and opened it. In there were countless clothing hung neatly. She hoped that at least some of them would fit her. She then closed the door, sat on the bed, and looked out the window. Kenshi stood there the whole time listening to Kitana’s footsteps until it stopped when she sat down on the bed. He then walked over to her and sat down next to her. He could sense her emotions deep within her and knew she was going to explode any second.

“Kitana,” Kenshi replied. “You haven’t said much in the last two days. I know you are trying to hide your emotions-”

“So what if I am?” Kitana said bitterly.

Kenshi was a bit surprised by her sudden outburst. “…Kitana, what I was going to say was that don’t hold your emotions back. I know you are trying to be strong, but sometimes it’s better.”

“But it’s not going to bring back last week! I lost so many people that I know and I don’t even know if my mother and my best friend are still alive or not! Letting my emotions out is not going to do any good.”

“I am aware of that. But I don’t want you to end up being bitter an angry at everyone…like how I was before I came here.”

Kitana looked at him. “What do you mean?”

Kenshi sighed. “Back when I was able to see, when I was 15, I watch my parents murdered in front of me. I may had got my revenge then, but emotions built up within me. I held him back for years and became bitter to everything and everyone and only cared about myself. You should’ve have to go through that Kitana.”

Kitana stayed silent for a bit before speaking again. “But you’ve never been bitter…well, neither was Rain…”

“I know. Actually, I haven’t been bitter since coming to Edenia. I guess because I am, well, was, in a peaceful environment.

“…speaking of Rain…what was he doing to you?”

The Princess sighed before telling her tale. “It turned out Rain worked for the Outworld army. I had the feeling that he was ordered to either kill me or capture me and bring me to the army. We were in a short battle, but he managed to take me down.” She then drew in what seemed like a nervous breath before continuing. “Kenshi, if you hadn’t come in, he would’ve raped me. He was talking how I only belonged to him and was just starting to peel my clothing off…”

Kenshi placed a hand over Kitana’s, which rested on the edge of the bed they sat on. Kitana let herself feel the warmth and roughness of his hand.

“Thank goodness he didn’t go farther,” he said. “I’m glad I got there on time.”

After another moment, a tear managed to escape Kitana’s eye. She turned her hand upward and grasped on to Kenshi’s hand. “I just wish I knew what happened to mother and Jade…I have the horrible feeling that they’re…”

She then burst into more tears, covering her eyes with her free hand. Kenshi frowned a bit before taking her into his arms to let her cry in his shoulder. He stayed silent letting her release the emotions she held in for hours.

After a few minutes when she calmed down a bit, Kenshi whispered, “I promise, we will find out your loved ones whereabouts. And while we’re here, I will be your protector. I won’t let anyone harm you while I’m here.”

Kitana managed to smile a little. “Thank you.” They then heard a bell ring. Both of them assumed that it was a signal for dinner. “You know what, I’m not as hungry as I thought. I’ll have something later…”

Kenshi nodded. “If there’s any bread, I’ll bring some up to you.”

“Okay.”

Kenshi managed to smirk at Kitana a little before getting up and leaving the room. Kitana watched him until he closed the door behind him. Kitana then lied back down to catch up on some much-needed rest.

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