She strolled down the rock path calmly as if she possessed all the time in the world.
Actually, that's exactly how much free time she had been granted.
Yuna didn't have any missions scheduled for the next week. She still didn't know why, Yuna was simply dismissed without an explanation.
The sudden change was cause to worry, causing her to frown. Had she commited a serious error at some point or another? The possibility was there, but it seemed unreasonable.
The girl stopped dead on her tracks and turned around sharply, determined not loose any sleep over the matter. Yuna decided to go train instead of sitting home and watching over her little sister. If anything, she might be able to work off some of that frustration built up inside of her.
The woman marched right over the grass, not bothering to take the long way. Her back was straight and she kept her head up proudly.
When she reached an empty training field her eyebrow twitched. The blazing sun that was mercilessly hot didn't help at all. Ignoring the heat she started with a warm-up, slowly advancing to things that required more attention and energy.
Breathe in, keep the rhythm and enjoy the burn. She kept repeating those words in her mind while pushing herself to the limit.
Constantly Yuna felt like she was being watched, it made the irritation inside of her grow. She wasn't always the calmest person. There were times when she could control her anger, but once she almost broke her hand hitting a stone wall that happened to be near.
That's just fate for you!
Of all the wooden walls and pillars she could've used to vent her frustration, it had to be one made of stone.
During practice she tried to pinpoint the stranger's presence, but whoever he was knew how to confuse her. He suppressed his chakra, but being that close it was nearly impossible to hide it all so she still sensed him, but just barely. Enough to tickle her nerves and make her tense up.
Yet the damn person was playing with her, he changed positions constantly, without a pattern. Yuna let her kunai drop to the ground before she threw herself on her back, panting and sweating. The girl had no idea how much time had passed already, the clouds changed their speed constantly and it felt as if the sun was in the same position as before. She slowly closed her eyes, mentally cursing and enjoying the sun at the same time.
The wind brushed past her every now and then. A smile appeared on her lips every time it did.
Yuna popped an eye open when she heard someone walk closer. She recognized the chakra quickly and supressed the urge to send a kunai flying towards the stranger.
"What are you doing here? People train here Eiko." Yuna said with a smirk on her lips. She hadn't quite figured out what made her little sister angry. Eiko stayed to the shadow of the trees and crossed her hands on her chest. Eiko raised an eyebrow with a cocky grin on her face.
"Yeah people came complaining that some slob is holding the training field," snapped her sister absentmindedly.
Yuna sat up and Eiko jumped when a kunai landed right beside her face in the tree trunk. Yuna pushed herself up and cracked her back.
"Alright, training is finished. Why did you come to bother me anyway? Don't you have an Uchiha to stalk?" Yuna asked Eiko smoothly, walking to the shadows as well. The shade felt like a heavenly gush of cold compared to the inferno behind her. A blush appeared on the young girl's cheeks and she tried to smack her sister who dodged it effortlessly.
"I am not stalking Yasu!" Eiko yelled at Yuna who waved her hand dismissingly. Yasu was a 13 year old Uchiha who was that 'it' guy for the young ones. Yuna didn't really understand the big deal around him. He was stronger than average, but not that strong. Eiko ran after her sister.
"Mum asked me to call you home, she told me to send you straight to her room. Uchihas are coming over for dinner and you need to look like as decent as you can get," a small smile was dancing on Eiko's lips, bordering on mocking.
Yuna rolled her eyes and slapped the back of Eiko's head softly.
"Do your research. Yasu is just a pretty face, and he's young...We'll probably be catching a glimpse of Madara. The young prodigy." Noted Yuna dryly.
"Is this envy I hear in your voice?"
"We'll be late if we don't leave now."
The sisters headed to different directions. Eiko headed to the backyard to play with her friends, she was still young and was excluded from formal dinners, something that Yuna envied.
Yuna walked through the corridors to her mother's room.
She stopped behind the door and knocked three times before pushing the door open and walking in carefully, eyes scanning the room for her mother. The woman was sitting by the window with some fabric on her lap. It seemed that she was sewing before the scenery demanded her attention. Her brown hair was loosely around her shoulders and a frown was on her lips.
"It's rude to come in like this, Yuna." Hikari said, causing the culprit to raise an eyebrow. Yuna brushed that comment aside and stepped in, closing the door behind her.
"What did you want to tell me? I need to get cleaned up before the Uchihas come." Yuna said with a small smile on her lips.
Hikari scoffed, but relaxed after a few seconds. That smile was familiar to her; it was Yuna's I-am-full-of-crap-but-you-taught-me-to-behave smile.
The woman knew that she had no right to be criticizing right now. Announcing the pressing news during dinner would be a huge mistake because she didn't know what to expect from Yuna, because if she threw a tantrum at the dinner Hikari could never forgive herself for making a stupid mistake.
"The dinner is only going to be between the two of you, so you could get to know each other," said Hikari carefully. She looked towards Yuna, observing her train of thought with caution. The girl nodded slowly, as if she wasn't really paying attention.
"Between me and who and why are we having dinner together?" continued the daughter calmly. Her hands were resting on her lap, she was truly exhausted and just wanted to go and have that bath already. Hikari sighed and closed her eyes.
"Our clan lacks strength and power, so the only way to get it is to merge with a powerful clan. You and Madara are going to marry each other in a week. Both sides are expecting heirs, because Madara is on a high position. From what I gather he'll become the leader soon enough."
Hikari didn't have to wait for long, the expected reaction was there.
Yuna slammed her fist on the table that was near her before getting up. Yuna removed her fist, leaving an artistic pattern of cracks behind. The girl pulled herself up and walked to the door.
"Yuna," her mother called, causing her to hesitate for a moment.
"What, oh dearest mother?" questioned Yuna with a sickly sweet smile across her face.
"Try not to antagonise Madara too much…He's not known for his patience."
Yuna rolled her eyes, "Well, maybe during one of his tantrums he'll snap my neck!"
She didn't stay long enough to hear out her mother's response, settling to slam the door behind her instead.
The girl marched towards the bathing area to take a long, hot bath. If the inhabitants of this house didn't know her any better, they'd believe that the scowl glued on her face was permanent.
So the entire point was to let that Madara breed legally? So the title was just to make that child an heir because otherwise he'd just sleep around with a lot of women, spawning plenty of bastards like a baker?
Madara…the name felt uncomfortable on her tongue. She decided to push him out of her mind for the time being and at the very least enjoy her bath. Yuna stripped out of her training clothes, throwing them into a nearby basket and marching over to the bath.
She slipped on a wayward soap, nearly hitting her head against the stone floor. With a wide array of curses she got back on her feet and sat down into the bath.
Trust Kunisada Yuna to find the most humiliating way to die.
The hot water did nothing to soothe her nerves. Most of her time was spent grinding her teeth together, muttering curses under her breath. The urge to go and just…destroy something seemed like a wonderful option. Yuna scrubbed her scalp and skin with a lot more force than necessary, not using up any excess time.
Sooner than expected, she was out of the bath, wrapped in a towel and using another to dry her hair. Her eyes moved to the door when she felt someone's chakra there.
"Yuna-Sama, I'm here with some clothes for you," said a familiar voice. Yuna strolled to the door and opened it. Her maid was there with a small bundle of clothes in her hands. Yuna put on the familiar mask of calm and accepted the clothes.
"Alright, how much time do I have anyway?"
"Put those on quickly please. Shall I do your hair after you finish dressing up?" Sakura asked, smoothly dodging the question. Yuna rolled her eyes and nodded, "Yeah-yeah, just give me a minute."
It didn't take long to slip into the black yukata. Yuna tied the obi and called Sakura back in again. The maid led Yuna to sit on a chair near the bath and carefully started brushing Yuna's hair. The poor victim tried not to wince every time Sakura tore through a big tangle in her hair.
"Have you ever met Uchiha Madara?" Yuna asked from Sakura who was almost done brushing her hair. The girl's eyebrow rose just slightly and she shook her head.
"Someone like me has no right to bother a man of his position. Madara-sama has better things to do than wander around the marketplace. I don't know is this true but someone in the kitchen told me that Uchiha Madara-Sama has a very bad temper,"
Sakura chose her words carefully to avoid direct insults; she wasn't one to enjoy gossip. Yuna looked at her reflexion, marvelling the complicated hairdo that Sakura was working on. It made her look like a true lady…almost.
"He sounds like a brainless brute who throws stuff around for his own joy...In that case we aren't going to be a very good match."
Sakura just smiled politely, a shadow, she was always a shadow, rarely offering her own opinions. She stuck in a few ornamental pins for the finishing touch.
"All done, please follow me. Your mother specifically asked me to relay to you to be on your best behaviour."
Yuna snorted loudly, a sound inappropriate for her looks, "Oh I bet she did…"
Yuna looked at the man in front of her with distaste, trying not to cringe. Madara was exactly like the rumours said; beautiful, deadly and arrogant. He had barely even touched his dinner, his chin resting on the palm of his left hand with a bored look on his face.
When he stepped in the first thing Yuna noticed was the length of his hair.
'Sickly long' were the two words that crossed her mind. Even she had to admit that Uchiha Madara was gorgeous, but she didn't know what to think of his temper yet. So far they had managed to avoid a clash of egos by submitting to silence.
"We're supposed to get familiar, so talk," he snapped, strumming his fingers on the table. Yuna held back another snort, oh yes, she definitely didn't like him. That arrogant tone was usually used with servants by the obnoxious feudal lords.
"What makes you think that I am planning to tell anything about myself to someone like you?" Yuna spat back to him and took a big gulp of wine. Madara's eyebrow rose and a mocking smirk appeared on his lips. She was even more useless than he thought...not that he thought much of her to begin with, but it amused him to meet someone who didn't cover in fear at the mere sight of him.
His feeling were conflicting, because simultaneously he really wished to snap her neck for the snotty look in her eyes.
"And what knowledge of me have you managed to scrape together?"
Madara sounded mocking, but it was hidden well behind the silky tone. The fact that he was paired up with a woman like that baffled him. There's no way he would sully his precious genes with an inferior being as Yuna. On the other hand, it could've been much worse. It was unimaginable that she could do any substantial damage to him.
At the very least she's going to provide a distraction for him.
Yuna didn't think much before answering. The air was thick with annoyance and negativity to begin with, what's a few more insults going to do?
"The arrogant jerk that has a very slim chance of acting like a real human being," she said while examining her nails, trying to supress a yawn.
Madara's eyebrow twitched and he held back the urge to smack her across the face. No matter how annoying Yuna proved herself to be, he refrained from hitting women…in their respective houses of course. It won't be long before he'll make her regret those words.
"And what makes you think that you can judge me even though we just met?"
Yuna felt a twitch of annoyance. She was still confused if it was Madara's ego or the man himself that caused her irritation.
"Ah well, first impressions are always there for the changing! We're supposed to get familiar, so talk," a mocking smirk was plastered on her face, throwing Madara's own words right back at him. He pretended to ignore Yuna, though it was quite certain that as soon as he leaves the public eye, some poor pillar will be forced to endure his rage.
Madara picked up a glass from the table and looked it nonchalantly.
"Well I guess you could be uglier…at least I can take you out walking in public."
"Thank you for the dinner. Beginning from tomorrow you will live in the Uchiha compound. I will send someone to pick you up tomorrow evening. Your things will be delivered during the day."
Madara got up and left the room without another word. Yuna waited for a few minutes until he was gone from hearing distance before she picked up a bowl and slammed it against the wall with a shriek escaping her lips.
The bowl broke into pieces with a loud crash and the shards fell on the floor. She didn't even think on cleaning it up. Yuna got up and walked out of the room before slamming the door shut, nearly breaking the hinges.
Yes, the rumours surrounding Madara were spot-on.
It hadn't really occurred to her yet that he simply decided that she's moving in with him. Yuna didn't know was it his or her mother's decision. She heard Eiko calling her name and slowed her pace to allow her little sister to catch up with her.
Yuna supressed her rage for later, conjuring up a politically correct mask for Eiko to see.
"I saw Madara when he was leaving. He's so pretty! I want to marry a man like that! He smiled and told me that I look a lot like you!" She said with a huge smile. Yuna's eyebrow twitched and Eiko stopped dead on her tracks. She knew very well what the eyebrow twitching meant.
"That was an insult not a compliment..." Yuna forced through gritted teeth.
Madara removed his shoes in the darkness and walked down the halls. His eyes shifted on his left where he heard someone move. His body relaxed visibly when a man with a face similar to his stepped out with a smile on his lips.
"Back so soon, Madara? How was the dinner?" Izuna asked with a mischievous smirk on his lips. He flinched when he felt a change in Madara's chakra, even though both of them knew that Madara would never lay a finger on his brother. Izuna relaxed when the surge of energy calmed down again to a steady flow.
"I'm sure she wasn't that bad. You're just a little bit picky." He said with a smile on his lips.
Madara wasn't in the mood to deal with Izuna's banter at the moment.
"Hey, where're you going? Don't walk away like that, oh dearest brother!" called Izuna after him, most likely waking up more than a few senior citizens.
"I want soup in my office. Ask someone to send it up." Madara asked his brother and walked away. Izuna stayed behind, scratching the back of his head in confusion.
"You'll get fat! Madara, stress eating is never a solution to your problems!" he called after his brother. Madara cast a demonic glare over his shoulder that would case any normal man to cover in fear, but Izuna sighed and held up his hands, signalling defeat.
"Alright-alright, no need to get antsy..." He mumbled and walked to the opposite direction. Izuna had to make sure that the maid knows that Madara is in a cranky mood and will most likely break something...again...for the 4th time in the past two weeks.
Just who is this woman? Izuna felt the anticipation in his body, finally something is happening on this boring-BORING house.
Now hello old and new readers! I thought that I will slowly start editing the story now that I'm older, as we all know this took exactly three years to complete and I was idiotically young when I wrote the first chapters. I can't say if I'm planning only to proofread or will I alter the plot as well but… we'll see! – 03.08.2014, R.
As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story!