Chapter 9

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"You can't hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree." (Malcolm X)

First half of the day, we walked in total silence. The awkwardness was awful because at the back of my head, a voice kept reminding me how much my new travelling companion hated me. It wasn't a comfortable feeling at all, to which I promptly contemplated on making small talks but then I had a second thought and threw the idea away completely. He could have negative reactions to whatever I might say and it would be even more awkward as the journey went on.

I endured far more problematic situations than this in my life, his presence would not be the end of the world. That's right, I'd be fine as long as I calculated my moves carefully around him. 

Imperius continued to follow closely behind me since he possibly had no clue to which roads or wild routes we were taking to Kingsport, now that he cannot fly freely in Sanctuary. Thinking about the roads ahead, I sighed softly as I looked up at the bright blue sky, the sun's rays gently burned my face in return.

"You know? I think I overestimated myself," I finally broke the silence. "At this rate, it would take us at least 3 days to get to Kingsport. It slipped my mind that I am still recovering from Malthael's ordeal and my injuries when we left the town. I am fine to travel, it is just not as fast as I'd like it to be." His footsteps halted and so I stopped in my track, glancing back at him.

"Would it have been better if we were to stay in that inn a day longer?" He asked with the all seriousness thick in his voice. Although his expression remained unchanged. 

"Well... to be honest, I don't believe so," I turned to face him. "Because our presence was beginning to attract the town folks' attention. To me, that's not a good thing at all," I replied nonchalantly and started to walk off.

"Then there is no need to be anxious about the length of time it would take us. I can assure you that I will not let my strides slack off as long as you continue to lead the way." That was surprisingly nice of him to say but I was sure the point was on himself, not how well I was doing.

"I should not take flight in Sanctuary and even though I do wish to rush this event, I also cannot. The purpose of me staying here is to... take the time to learn mortal's ways." He finished carefully while he continued to follow me, as if I may use the information against him.

"I see..." Acknowledging his perception of the journey, I let out a soft sigh. I knew it would be much better for us both if this was to end sooner rather than later. The awkwardness I feel and the hatred he had for me were overwhelming.

It maybe best if I was to play it nice even if he did not want to go along, not because I could but because I did not have anything against him or hate him in the slightest. At the very least, I could face Tyrael with the confidence that I tried best I could. Whether it be for the next few days or weeks, I would be patient. Maybe what Imperius needs to see and realise is the humanity in us mortals.

At around midday when the sun was at its peak, I suggested that we rest a little while before we continue. I sat by an ancient tree under its cooling shed. Imperius stood facing me for a moment, hesitating before he took a seat about 3 feet away with his back towards me. 

"I've brought some fruits with me from the town. Are you hungry yet?" I asked good-naturedly to which he glanced back at me and shook his head in reply. My brows raised questioningly but I did not dare to push on further, only shrugged my shoulders and took a bite of the scrumptious apple I had in my hand. 

"Suit yourself. If and whenever you are hungry, just say so. I've got plenty to last us before we hit Tristram." I planned on stopping by the outskirt of the town and stay a night in an inn there, to resupply at least. Hopefully, my companion would not object to that. 

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