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Kyane’s body was dripping in sweat, and ached like she’d been run over by a steam roller. She clapped her hands. She felt a pop between her palms. She moved her palms and thumped them against the training dummy. Two small pops exploded on contact. She pulled her hands back and unleashed a flurry of fists against the dummy. Her arms quickly tired and dropped to her side with no warning. She leaned and rested her head on the dummy’s shoulder.
“You’re getting it,” Shaotoro said from his table.
“I’m not fast enough!” she said. “I need to keep pushing more and more.” She closed her eyes and saw Herreas’s hulking frame, and Alkeria’s threat that one of the twelve being born. “He’ll be back sooner or later. And their increased arrival only makes it worse.”
“Indeed.” Shaotoro moved to his knees, then to his feet. “You are correct in everything, except for the idea that you must keep pushing like you have been.” He walked over to his student. “What do you think is the most important part of the millennium fury?”
“Well the actual punching. The thing that actually does the damage.”
Shaotoro clapped his hands. There was a loud pop between his palms. “We use the force of the clap to pull as much air into a condensed space as possible. When the palms connect, and the air pops it creates a vacuum that lowers the friction in the air to move with less stress on the body.”
Kyane clapped her hands. There were just a few muted pops. Kyane’s face twitched in anger. She tried it again. The pops were weaker and more muted. “Dammit!”
She was about to try again, but Shaotoro stopped her. “This is what you need the focus for. Focus on pushing the air, focus on moving it with ease.” There was a knock at the dojo door. “One second!” he called to the door. “That is what you need to focus on.” He opened the door.
Hinotomi and Damon stood at the door. “We need to talk to you, dad,” Hinotomi said.
Shaotoro opened the door and let them in. “We can talk in here just fine.”
“What’s up?” Kyane asked.
Hinotomi whispered something in Shaotoro’s ear. He tried to hide his surprise.
Damon went up to her. “It’s almost time for you to get ready for that dinner tonight. Right?”
“Yeah, I do. I still have some training time left.”
“You’re free to go now,” Shaotoro said.
“Okay…” Kyane said. She looked over her shoulder as her dad closed the door, separating them. She went right to the bathroom. She laid her phone on the sink and turned D13 on.
“Hello, Kyane. How can I help you?”
Kyane turned the tub on and pulled out the tab, sending the water to the shower. “Can you tap or whatever into the dojo and see what my parents and Sensei are talking about?”
“Is that such a good idea, Kyane?”
“They’re hiding something.” She stuck her hand in the water to check it. “I need to know what that is.”
“I will try.”
Kyane stepped into the shower and let the hot water flow over her body. She grabbed the conditioner and massaged it into her hair. “Anything yet?”
“All feeds into the room have been blocked from me by a Benvise Code.”
“A what code?”
“Benvise Code. I’ll look up what that means.” Kyane moved on to adding the shampoo to her hair. She pulled it from the roots to the tips. “I am unable to get through, but Benvise seems to be the secretary in charge as the contact for Jerry and your parents to the government.”
“So, they’re definitely hiding something,” Kyane said. She punched the tiled wall. Water quickly moved down her arm and through the tile cracks.
“It may not be important to our mission,” D13 said.
“Then why can’t you access it? If it’s nothing then keep it open, read the nothing and move on.”
“I do not know,” D13 said. “I will keep investigating, but just get ready for your dance later tonight.”
That’s what Kyane did. She got out of the shower and began getting ready for her dance. It was a new training exercise for her. She had not applied any amount of makeup in a long time, outside basic concealer and eyeshadow. After she was done, she slipped her dress on. She saw herself in her mirror and felt really and truly beautiful. She closed her eyes and felt Desmond’s lips on hers from her dream. Thankfully, Herreas and her job didn’t come in and ruin her moment. Her heart raced faster.