Chapter Ten ~ Discussions and Decisions

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"Cashile," Ibiki nodded, very calmly might I add.

"You were stalking me," I accused.

"And you thought I was about to attack you," Ibiki countered. "You didn't realize that it was me until you saw me. I would have expected you to sense my presence," he mused. "Or-" he continued, "you expected me to attack you although I doubt that's why you reacted in such a defensive manner,"

"Already criticizing me," I noted.

"You're still my student," Ibiki said, making it clear that he wouldn't accept my resignation even after all these years.

"I thought I was dead," I said, a playful coldness added to my tone.

Ibiki stopped bantering and a more serious expression crosses his face. Unreadable to the normal eye, but to my hawk eye, I could see every emotion he was currently feeling.

Regret, continual disbelief, anger, fear, sadness...

All the emotions were making me sick.

"Funny, I'm a teacher of my own now," I continued, in order to lighten the mood a degree.

"Shame, there's still so much you need to learn," Ibiki said. "Just so you know. I recommended that you were not promoted and did not become a sensei,

"Tell the hokage that," I muttered. "I didn't ask for the position, I assure you. And FYI, I could take you easy in a fight," I said, a brief memory of Ibiki beating the crap out of my a couple years ago, invading my mind.

"There's a bit of room for doubt in my mind about that," he said. "So what do you want to do about your training? Still want to be ANBU? Learn mind games?"

I shook my head," I don't know anymore Ibiki, I just don't know. I don't know what I want anymore. I have a team of my own now, that I'm being forced to teach, and I have a target on my back. I haven't decided what my main focus will be, yet," I said.

And I had Aiden and Aisa to think about. They would need to be protected when The Claw came after me.

Or maybe it was time to find my own place, so they wouldn't get caught up in the crossfire.

I turned on my heels and held my hand up, gesturing a farewell. "I'll see you around Ibiki," I said, ending our meeting.

"I have so much more to ask," Ibiki said in a wavering voice. Tch. Had he grown weaker since I'd last seen him? Since when did he let his emotions get the better of him?

"Soon. I can't stay out in one place too long," I said." Tomorrow at 4? I'll be waiting on the training grounds."

I took off into a run.

Maybe I should get away from Aiden and Aisa. The risk for them was minimal, though. The Claw would be assigned to kill me and only me. And when the Claw is given an assassination assignment, they kill the target and only the target.

If you don't cross the Rising Phoenix, you're safe.

But If Aiden knew about the target, then I doubt that he wouldn't cross the Phoenix.

And so, with that thought in mind, I continued to my apartment. I knocked on the door, and after a few moments Aiden let me in.

Self reminder: Get a copy of the key.

"What was that about?!" He demanded upon opening the door. I brushed past him, ignoring his outburst. "Answer me, Cashile! What was that?"

"I thought it might have been something, but it turned out I was wrong," I answered vaguely. If I told him the truth about people being after me, there was an 89 percent chance he would kick me out of the apartment to protect Aisa. It's not like I would allow him to kick me out of my apartment, but it was better to avoid confrontation.

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