It had passed one day since the incident in the alley. Nih’na had stopped crying but she had turned silent even to Feuor. She was ashamed that she had not been able to tell him of how she had felt recently and that it had to take such nasty turn in order for him to find out. In order to make things appear as usual she had returned to school but she now took the lesser used paths between the classrooms. She tried to make herself as small and invisible as possible in fear of the aftermaths of the incident. But she could not hide from him, suddenly something grabbed her arm.
“Nih’na? Why are you hiding like this?” Feuor asked with a calm voice.
“Fe..Feuor I am .. “ She tried to tell him why, but the words just stuck in her throat.
“I am your friend Nih’na, not your enemy. You can trust me I swear.” He said with a voice full of kindness. A voice she recognized.
“I know, I am sorry. I thought that… I wanted to spare those important for me from this pain, sorry.” She said as she felt the tears starting to come.
“Come, lets go somewhere. “ Feuor said and walked away still holding her arm.
They walked with a hasted pace through the doors leading outside and then rounded a corner and soon they found themselves on a small meadow a few hundred meters behind the school.. It was a place that was sporadically used for combat training or magical learning. But it was not as large as the others so it was mostly used by students that wanted to practice in peace.
“I think we are pretty safe here Nih’na. No one usually comes here. So what is it that you want to tell me ?” His voice was still soothing,m but also strict telling her that he wanted to know so he could understand.
“I.. I don’t know what to say Feuor. I though it was my fault, I am the only Zoraï in the class, and a short one too. I thought it was why..” She started to confess.
“You know that that is just your imagination Nih’na. You are not the one at fault here, they are for avoiding what they do not understand. They are weak cowards acting as they did.” He was a bit intimidated but she knew what he said.
“I am alone, I don’t have any friends and I think that no one wants to be friend with a short strange Homin as I.” Tears wandered down her cheeks as she finally was able to tell someone how she felt.
“You have at least one friend, there was one that came looking for you right ?” Feuor said with a smile. “We have been friends as long as I can remember Nih’na, don’t think for a second that I attacked that Kincher only so you could fall for the whim of some Matisian rich man’s kid and his skewed views.”
“But.. what will happen now.. What will they do to me now?” She asked him, the fact that a bully is a pain, but the pain a scared bully can cause can be far worse.
“I have already sorted that too, I confronted him during a training session this morning and made him confess in front of everyone how brave he was attacking a lonely girl with two trustworthy men on his side. I don’t think he will try to harm you again, specially not if he wish to keep his hands attached to his arms.” Feuor said and blinked with his right eye and smiled.
Nih’na remembered what had happened that time in the alley and suddenly she did not see him as the scaring Homin she had seen him as back then. Now she could see that there was a reason behind his anger, and she understood his actions. Still it was scaring to see him transform like that but there was something else telling her that he could never be like that to her, only to those that tried to harm her. He was her friend. A little smile started to form on her mask when she thought of things this way.
“Uhmm, excuse me. But I want too… ehm..” A voice said from behind them.
“Oh, hi there Danih, didn’t hear you come around.” Feuor said. “I’m sorry, but I am busy for the moment could we…”
“It’s fine Feuor.” Nih’na said and she did actually smile for what felt like the first time for an eternity.
“You sure Nih’na?” He asked her and she nodded yes. “Well then, what was it Dinah ?”
“There is , ehm.. an assignment… for school, that requires… ehm.. “ She started to explain.
“Don’t be nervous, just say it will you!” Feuor said with a broad smile and a little tease in his voice.
“There is a requirement for an assignment for school which needs you to work with someone else. And I was wondering if you wanted to… ehm.. together with me..” Dinah said it as fast as she could and she was almost surprised that she had just said it.
Feuor looked at her and then at Nih’na and smiled. He had heard of the assignment; it was a preparation for a crafting lesson where they were required to hunt and harvest for materials so they could craft. No specific materials were needed, the main idea was to train the ability to work in team, and to ask for Homins to form teams.
“Well, I have sort of already promised Nih’na here that we would do it together.” He said, and it was an obvious lie, Nih’na knew since he had not said a word to her about it. In fact she had almost forgotten about it herself.
“Oh. Well then I am sorry for disturbing you both.” Dinah said, bowed and started to walk away.
“Hey Dinah, stop will you.” Feuor looked at Nih’na with eyes telling her he had something on his mind and she looked at him and nodded without really knowing why she did. “You know, a team can be more then two Homins, want to join me and Nih’na?”
Danih stopped and turned around quickly looking back at them.
“Are you certain that I can?” She asked. Nih’na was surprised that it seemed as Danih was not bothered by the fact that she would be in the same team as her.
“Haha, it seems as we have ourselves a team of three then!” Feuor said happily and stood up. “I’ll be your tank taking hits and dealing blows!”
“I will heal as it is what I do best…” Nih’na said with a lowered voice as she thought that her interference might burst the bubble of happiness that had formed the last few minutes since Dinah came to them.
“That is great, so what do you want to do then Dinah?” Feuor asked and smiled so much that Nih’na thought that his jaw would come loose.
“I have had.. ehm.. some ease for the afflicitional skills.. I was wond.. hoping that I could..” She started to say and found her voice to become even lower then Nih’nas.
“Haha, wonderful then we have the tank, which is me, the healer Nih’na and Dinah the afflictionist. Sounds like a team to me. Come and sit here with us will you, we are a team now.” Feuor said.
Dinah did as she was asked to and sat down next to them and Feuor started to talk about the objectives of the assignment and how they should do and soon they found themselves involved in conversations about the assignment and all other things and it seemed as time flew away. They made up a tactic after discussing what they wanted to craft and Dinah and Nih’na took the part of looking up what animals they needed to hunt in order to get the materials they needed while Feuor would look into where and what to harvest for the rest of the parts. It seemed that after a while it came natural to them all to divide tasks quickly and to come up with ideas, they were a team indeed.
As Feuor and Nih’na waved good bye to Dinah for the day and walked home they stopped at a small cliff not far from home and watched the evening sun shining red on the sky.
“What do you say Nih’na, you looking forward to tomorrow and the hunt?” Feuor asked her as he stared at the sky.
“I do.. I really do Feuor, thank you.” She said as she grabbed his arm and stood next to him while watching the sky too.
“Its a nice evening tonight. Remember this Nih’na; there are days that are rainy, its natural. But there are also days that are like this one. And if it rains too much you have friends that can give you shelter.” Feuor said and started to walk homeward.
Nih’na stood there for a short moment looking at the sky astounded by what she just heard Feuor say. Sometimes he could make so much sense that it surprised her every time. Then she ran up to him and walked beside him all the way home thinking that even though she have had some bad experience not so long ago, it faded in comparison with how great today had been.
She was looking forward to tomorrow.