The next day, I created three ingots as usual, and the others finally returned during the afternoon. Grond visited the Workshop, and asked how was I doing. I told him, "I took a break or two, but other than that, all the Ingots are there. By the way, I didn't receive my pay, neither my FOOD! They "forgot" to deliver it for a few days. I'm not happy about that". Grond was stunned at my sudden complaints, and said he will fix it. I told him not to worry anymore, as they began delivering food to me again. It was a weak lie, because he could simply ask why didn't I go there earlier. But thanks to my acting, he didn't ask about it.
He told me my salary would be delivered to me soon, and that I shouldn't worry. I left the Workshop soon after, my work was done for that day. I returned to my house, and awaited Nick. But it wasn't Nick who came first, it was Rand. He asked me, "Have you seen my disciple?". I looked at him confused for a while, and asked "Disciple?". He replied visibly angry, "You know damn well who I'm talking about. Where is he?". I just shook my head, and said "I have no clue what you are on about old man. If you haven't noticed yet, I don't care where people of this village go, or what they do".
He grumbled, and left the house. 'He suspects something alright, but has no proof. I just need to lay low for a while, and do my job. If I pretend nothing happened, he will calm down after a while' I thought. Soon after Rand left, Nick showed up. "Hey, it seems your plan worked. Don't worry, I was the only one who spotted you there. Others should have no clue". I laughed while saying, "I wonder how they will consummate their marriage?". Nick laughed with me, he enjoyed other people's misfortune.
He continued, "Rand's not happy though. Did you take care of his little disciple?". I replied, "You are asking as if you don't know already. The guy would obviously watch over me, when all of you are gone. If I left him alive, the whole cover would be gone. I mean, they wouldn't trace the newlywed impotency to me, but why risk attracting that warrior guy here?".
He nodded and asked, "Not bad. What is your plan now? What do you intend to do?". I thought about it for a while, then replied. "I will not let that grudge go. I was a slave for a year, and this village will pay for it. Rand's granddaughter Senty, already paid for it. This family is ruined now, and will die off due to lack of next generation. Now that I think about it, this world needs less of such people".
I then continued, "For now, I just want to learn everything you can teach me... How long... you know.. How much time you have left?". His smile disappeared, while his answer was serious. "About two or three months... At most". I sighed, 'That's not a lot...'. I thought about something for a while. I debated myself whether I should do it or not. When I came to an decision, I said "I changed my mind". Nick was confused, he asked "What do you mean?". "The village... You wanted it destroyed. I shall do this last favour. Not only for you, but for myself and for what they did to Dina. They don't diserve a second chance, none of them. Thoughout this whole time I've been here, not one person tried to be nice to me. Tried to understand what I was going through. This village, I want it gone too" I replied.
Nick was surprised by my sudden change of heart. The way he looked at me, changed. As if he was looking at his own son, his own kin. Nick closed his eyes, then said "I didn't have kids... and rarely interacted with women. My path was a lone one. It was always me against the whole world. That's the fate awaiting people like me... I'm not asking you to be like me, find your own happines. The path your tread, is different from those others".
I accepted Nick as my friend... more than a friend. 'So what if his nature seem evil? So what if he did bad thing in the past? The Nick I know is crazy, but crazy in a good way. It's the world that shapes us, it's the world that fails us' I thought. I felt that Nick was failed too. I didn't know his past, where he came from or what he used to do. Yet I still felt he was disappointed, tired of this world. Nick continued after a slight nod. "I will try to impart the rest of my knowledge to you. Although we have only a few months left, I will at least prepare you more for what lays outside there. As for the village? Find a way. Plan it out, and then tell me what you intend on doing. I'll help you as much as I can, without interfeering too much. I still have my promise to keep". I looked into Nick's eyes, and replied seriously. "It shall be done".