There was a knock at the door. Small, polite, unassertive. It was Nathaniel, as expected. I pocketed the coins I was fiddling with and turned to the door.
A bald monk dressed in orange robes showed himself in. His hands were tucked away within each opposing sleeve, and he strode peacefully toward me until he was close, at which point he bowed low. I smirked.
"You really like putting on the whole act, don't you?"
He smiled, "Why not? It brings life to my disguise, and it is fun. You would enjoy it too."
I nodded, "Very well. Why don't you sit? You don't relieve yourself often enough, my friend."
He did as I suggested, "I relieve myself as often as you deem necessary."
"Right. Now, Nathaniel, I want to apologize for my behavior in the forest. It was-"
"It was called for."
I looked at him, "It really wasn't, and I-"
"And you nothing. I was just as surprised as you were. Listen to me, Jack."
I contorted my face. My servant rarely called me by my actual name. I listened.
"You are not to blame for what has happened. Kathleen... she was a truly wonderful girl, more than worthy of your time and appreciation. I was so sure that things would work out, I was sure that the Archon would accept her."
I snorted, "Is it really any surprise? The blasted fool is as cold and hard as stone. Take a look, Nathaniel, at the past several years. Who has he accepted? No one. Not a single one of them, and not for a damned good reason! The Archon's a fool. How could he not see the perfection in her? How, Nathaniel? I ask you..."
My servant sighed, "The Archon is not a fool, my master, but I admit that this recent occurrence is quite troubling."
I stood up, "'Quite troubling' you say?! It's an outrage!"
I slammed my fist on the table, allowing a hint of Energy to singe the wood.
"I had a chance, Nathaniel. I had the greatest of chances, and just because that tired old windbag says "no" I am not allowed to have that chance! Things could've been so much easier, so much greater... I'm sick of being tied to these bonds."
"You don't have a choice, master. You have power over many things in this world, but this is not one of those things. You must realize that this is for your own good."
I laughed in half-amusement, "My own good? What good is this? You know what, if the Archon gave half a damn, he wouldn't have let me meet her in the first place. he would've simply destroyed her before I had the chance to meet her."
"And you would be none the wiser, my master."
"NONE THE WISER?! HOW DARE YOU!"
I faced the window and shattered it with a burst of Energy. The monk sat simply in his seat, a blank expression upon his face.
"It was not my intention to anger you, master."
I said nothing. I simply stood where I was and stared out upon the vast expanse of land. Wind blew freely into the room through the broken window. I swept my hair back with a hand and recomposed myself.
The monk spoke gently, "You were blinded by hatred and mistrust. Kathleen removed these vices from you, and that was all she was meant to do."
I breathed heavily, "Nathaniel, you know I do not believe in 'meant to do' or ' meant to be' or 'meant to' anything."
"I know. I'm just telling you the truth."
There was silence; we sat there for several minutes. The wind blew softly across my face, and the sun was beginning to sink low. It would soon be time for the evening feast. I wasn't particularly in the mood for festivities, but I suppose I would have to make do. Nathaniel's words sat on me like a misshapen boulder upon a molehill. I breathed a heavy sigh and looked across to my servant.
"Could you fix the window?"
The monk smiled, "Of course, master."