Chapter 116: Great Idea, Feelings and Representative
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_________ POV Narration _________

"Is something the matter, Yue?" Ken's relaxed voice rang out in the room as he crossed his arms and swung his legs back onto his desk.

"..." The young girl just blinked a few times and gave the Blind Assassin a gigantic smile.

After spending enough time dwelling on it, Yue had finally reached a conclusion. One that might've already been expected of her.

'Teacher really is gorgeous!'

In her mind, she had always imagined a conventionally attractive face for her teacher. But what she saw that day was a hundred times better in her eyes.

Morbid beauty.

A concept that she was now all too familiar with.

It was her strange propensity to find the beauty and elegance in what most would find morbid and grotesque.

It was no conventional standard of beauty, Yue was well aware of that. But to her, it felt oh so right...

But her teacher's 'Morbid Beauty' was enhanced because he truly seemed to be good-looking.

His mouth and overall facial shape were smooth, conventionally handsome even. It was a stark contrast with his mangled upper face.

It was such a beautiful cacophony that it stunned Yue the moment she laid her eyes upon it.

Well, it was beautiful to her, to the point where she was constantly gushing over it mentally.

But it wasn't just seeing her teacher's face that led to her remaining in that room even after her father(and Mifune) had left.

"Teacher... Are you actually around my age?"

She smiled widely, her eyes shining slightly as Ken tilted his head to the side once more.

"Hmm, I guess so. But I don't see how that makes a difference... Not that I see much of anything really..."

Ken smiled a bit as he joked around with his condition a bit.

He had truly become comfortable around the people within the Dark Brotherhood, to the point where he was joking with them in a similar fashion to how he was joking with the Samurai that raised him.

Unfortunately for him, Yue seemed to not pick up on his humour, instead she was getting giddy over something completely different.

The Blind Assassin's smile receded a bit when he noticed that. He had somewhat expected Yue to react in some way to the fact that he was around the same age as her.

It was good enough that she didn't know Ken was slightly younger.

Still, as always, it was somewhat difficult for him to tell exactly what was on the young demented girl's mind...

This time around, Ken thankfully didn't need to wonder for too long.

Yue immediately dashed towards the Blind Assassin's desk, planting her hands on it as her eyes shined with excitement and happiness.

Tosho, the First Blade, couldn't help his finger twitching as he reacted instinctively to her sudden movement. The Samehada on his back also wriggled slightly.

But there was no need for him to intervene, he already knew that it was impossible for Yue to wish harm upon Ken.

Besides, she looked like she had just gotten the brightest idea in the world.

"Teacher! Will you marry me?!?"

Now, if Ken had been drinking water, he likely would've spat it into her face to try and cool her down.

Tosho himself scowled underneath his mask.

Although he knew his master's real age all along, he never once thought Yue would get any feelings for Ken.

Alas, he had never been great at reading the hearts of girls or women in general.

But he did know his Master very well...

Although he was a child in age... He was more akin to an old man in thinking, his level of maturity was well above his peers, to the point where he might as well have been an adult.

It was unlikely for Ken to have developed any feelings for Yue, who was still very much childish in all aspects.

'Wait a minute... Even if he is mature, I doubt he had the chance to gain much experience with love... Will Yue be able to tear down his walls I wonder?'

Tosho blinked a few times underneath his mask as he wondered what his Master's response would be...

"Fuck off, no."

And it certainly didn't disappoint him.

Well, it was not exactly what he expected, he had hoped for his master to let the girl off a bit more gently, but at the same time...

'This is Yue we're talking about...'

"No, no! Listen to me, it's like the best idea ever! Like, you and I end up practising our art together, and you get to lead the Land of Iron too after Daddy retires!"

Yue didn't even flinch once at her teacher's rejection, despite the fact that it was swift and with 0 hesitation.

She didn't seem hurt at all, far too excited by finding her teacher's appearance and finding out that he was actually great marriage material.

Unfortunately for her, Ken saw her as the least marriageable material.

'The hell's this kid on about?! Did she already reach puberty or something?'

He knew just how much hormones could screw with one's head, but he didn't expect Yue of all people to go into a frenzy...

Although, if he was to be honest with himself for a moment, the signs were always there.

From always getting excited during training when she was bound in wires, to always looking for ways to get trapped by him...

Yeah... The signs were right in his face. Too bad he was blind to them, huh?

Well, he could no longer ignore the obvious.

'She's also developed an infatuation with me...'

It was a fear that had somewhat crossed his mind before.

After all, Yue was more than infatuated with an art that Ken had introduced in her life. One way or another, there was always the possibility that her feelings would develop for him as well.

But Ken had always hoped that her feelings were mostly just summed up by admiration for him due to the mastery he showed over the art she admired.

"First off, the type of 'art' we practice is very different.

Your strings are more elegant, and standoffish. Meanwhile, I prefer ripping the heads off of people, ripping limbs apart and cutting people limb from limb.

I very rarely practice your preferred 'art'."

The Blind Assassin decided to tackle the girl's points directly.

He wanted to dismantle her 'great idea' right in front of her.

"W-well, I also like your way of doing things! Besides, don't you think my elegance and your brutality would match really well?!?" She was still relentless, however.

Ken was thankfully prepared for any comeback she might've made.

"No, they wouldn't. In the first place, your elegance already has brutality ingrained into it, adding more onto it would just make it messy, make it lose its elegance."

Now, Ken didn't actually think of killing people as an art. He knew that there were creative ways to do it and even 'artistic' ways to do it, but he didn't consider it an art like Yue did.

But over the months that he knew Yue, he managed to upgrade his vocabulary to match her craziness.

He sometimes had to explain things in artistic terms to help her understand things better. It wasn't that difficult, as one of the people he had taken after in his past life was also a self-proclaimed 'artist'.

Ken was the one who had taught Yue how to use said artistic terms in relation to assassination as well, so he had an edge over her.

She couldn't even argue against her teacher, as doing so would be arguing against all that she had learned in the past as well.

It was true that while her preferred methods of assassination were still brutal in a way, they still contained some elegance, at least she executed them with elegance.

If she were to be paired up with her teacher on a mission, then things would certainly become more messy.

Now, making a mess was Ken's way of doing things most of the time, so essentially pairing up with her teacher would lead to her losing what she liked the most about her own art.

She ended up just shaking her head and looking back up at Ken.

"S-still... If you marry me you can get this whole country. J-just think about it, OK?"

She sounded a bit less lively, it made Tosho a bit sad to hear her.

But Ken was still expressionless. He merely shook his head and denied her once more.

"I have no need for absolute political control over the Land of Iron, your father and Mifune are both allies and friends of mine. There is no point in trying to dethrone either of them.

Yue, I am not able to return your feelings, please understand that."

Ken slowly stood up, as the little girl recoiled slightly, seemingly hurt.

She looked down, her eyes tearing up slightly.

She was a princess, she was a beautiful young girl, and she was not used to rejection.

And she didn't want to be rejected either. Not by her teacher, not by Ken. Not right after her feelings had bloomed in such a way after witnessing his beauty.

But she had no choice in the matter. Ken was steadfast in his views.

And to him, she was only a little girl.

Although he was younger than her in body, his mind was already that of an old man.

He couldn't, in his right mind, accept the feelings of a vulnerable little girl who knew next to nothing about romance and the real world.

She was no longer the same spoiled princess she was when she first came into the brotherhood, but she still had a long way to go.

And her tears hitting the ground were a sign of that.

But the Blind Assassin was not the type to just stand by and watch one of his students, one of the children he cared for, cry.

He slowly walked to her side, while tilting his head slightly.

He raised his hand in a swift motion, Yue flinched at that moment, only to completely relax as she felt her teacher's calloused palm land on her head.

It was soft, gentle, just as she remembered it.

It was a touch filled with love, but it wasn't the love she was looking for. No, it was the love and affection that her teacher displayed for all of his students, and all of the children within the brotherhood.

"No need to feel sad. I'm sure you already expected this outcome, you just weren't ready to accept it.

Even if I won't marry you, that doesn't mean I don't care for you... Now get back to training, or having fun, whichever you prefer."

Ken's warm smile shined in the room as Yue's tears seemed to dry up quite quickly at his warmth.

A sweet smile slowly rose to her lips as she wiped the last of her tears off, before looking up at her tall teacher with renewed vigour.

She nodded before she clenched her fists and ran off. Loudly thanking her teacher as she headed back to her training, or maybe to see her father off?

She was free to do as she pleased.

"... What a mess. At least you handled it well enough." Tosho said just as the door closed behind her.

"What? You don't think I was a bit too harsh?" Ken sighed as he jumped over his desk and sat back into his comfortable chair.

"No. Knowing Yue, this might not have been harsh enough for her to forget her feelings for you." Tosho spoke with a tad bit of concern etched into his tone.

Ken just shrugged.

"They're just feelings of childhood love, they will fade away one day." The Blind Assassin dismissed that concern without any hesitation.

"Maybe... Yeah..." Tosho spoke out, but his mind was a bit more concerned.

'Or they may just fester and turn further into an obsession...'

Ken just shook his head when he felt his subordinate's concern.

There was no reason to be concerned at that point in time anyway.

"It seems we have another visitor..." Ken turned his head back towards the gate as he scowled a bit.

"Hmm? Who is it?" Tosho asked as he tilted his head, slightly mimicking his master's mannerisms.

"... A representative of the Leaf Village it seems."


Hope you liked the chapter!

And no, Ken won't actually accept the feelings of a teenager, tho I doubt anyone was expecting that :)) 

Story Shoutout: The Final Desperation

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