Chapter 10: Nick's Warning - Erik's Past

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The second floor was mostly coloured in dark blue and was truly beautiful, a lot better than the basement - richly decorations, jewellery, expensive furniture...

Ugh... So only Grandmasters get good rooms and corridors, huh? Tamie thought. Nick led her into one of the dark blue doors and then closed it behind her. His room was beautiful and charming, but simple, compared to the rich corridors - it had simple but comfortable furniture and a giant door that led into a library even bigger than the bedroom itself. The bathroom was quite nice too, all coloured in different shades of blue. Yeah, Nick truly feels good in blue rooms, as it seems...

Nick pointed her on a chair nearby:

"Take a seat, Tamie".

She smiled and sat. 

"Coffee or tea?"

"You know I don't drink coffee, unless with milk".

"Well I've got milk," Nick winked.

"Okay then, I'd like some milky coffee".

"Alright, make two then". 

Tamie burst out laughing:

"Haha! You're always so funny, Nick!"

Nick chuckled too and began preparing both the milk and the coffee separately, then to mix them together. While he was watching the milk and the coffee not to run off, he quietly spoke:

"Tamie, so you stumbled upon Erik on the train?"

"Um, yes... I didn't know you were on such bad terms, or else I would have never even spoken to him".

"No, it's alright. It's just, Erik von Drachen is one of the Celestial Lords I'm acquainted with, and he's not really that simple one... I don't want you to fall in some danger, Tamie, and that guy is associated with danger... At least, that is how his reputation proves".

"Really? I know nothing about it!"

"He is... Ugh, how to tell you... There was once an order, that one Edmund talked about if you remember," he brightened, realising he could somehow still give a hint to her, "the one that got wiped out by Blood Dragon".

"Oh, yeah?" Tamie got curious - so Nick knew more of that story?

"That order's name was Crimson Flame. Erik was a member there too, along with Blood Dragon. They were of the same age and the same sign - Leo. They actually had ten people of such generation - Leo of Dragon spirit, all of the same age, as you may guess. Those ten people were named the Dragon Flame Group and were raised by the order overlord, Merlinn Goldreich, to become professional assassins," he mixed the milk with the coffee and posed the cup in front of shuddering Tamie. "You understand, don't you? I know you think Erik is a bright and positive person but, his past... He was a renowned assassin, one of the best in that group. Those group members were brainwashed since their early age - like ten to twelve years. All of them were orphans and had nowhere to go safe for that order, so they counted it a family. They fulfilled all of Merlinn's terrible commands without a second word. 

"I know you might think he's already thirty-year-old or something, but... we both know well that people don't change so easily once their mind is set to some certain doctrines since their early age. He wouldn't change that easily after all those gruesome deeds he did only as a child. Well, if something significant didn't happen later in his life, which I greatly doubt. The fact that his own group-mate massacred his whole order might just have set his heart to even more hatred and melancholy, as it often happens. I hope you understand me, Tamie. I know you aspire greatly to gain new friends in this new country but... I cannot bear you being under a threat of danger, and Erik... because of his past, I cannot trust him completely. The worst thing is that he's of the same power as I, so our matches often end in a draw. I fear I won't be able to completely protect you from him if ever a situation arises". 

He hung his head. He truly felt bad he was unable to provide complete support and protection for his little sister he loved so much. But Tamie was concerned about other things now - an assassin since early childhood? Brainwashed? Assassination missions?

Apparently, those children's books didn't lie...One shouldn't talk to some strangers on the train...

"I'm so sorry..." tears appeared in her eyes, "I'll delete his signal..." she was about to touch her Star-gadget when Nick grabbed her arm:

"No, don't. Star-gadget deletion works only in one way - he will still have your signal registered. Don't do that. The fact that you decided to sever ties with him is enough. You cannot cut him off in one swing, of course, since you've been in friendly contact. But you can talk to him rarer and rarer and then you'll fall apart if you're aiming for that".

"Oh... yeah, good idea..." Tamie hugged him tightly, "Thank you so much for warning me my big crabby!"

Nick laughed and hugged her back.

"I'll do anything to protect you, Tamie. After all, we're here together, so we must help each other out and support each other as we can. We are siblings".

"Oh, sure we are!"

Tamie got relieved - so good Nick had warned her! Otherwise, she might fall into serious danger with that sort of a guy. But one thought still lingered in her mind - if Erik was such a bad guy, why did he promise some newly-met girl he would protect her, and didn't break his promise? And didn't even show any signs of offence or threat at all while meeting up with her?

Such a mysterious guy indeed...

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