"The situation is definitely grim..."
June muttered darkly while Katara lowered her head with a furious blush. Never will she sleep on Karna's laps again and never will she dream of Nik kissing her thighs...
Oh, that ethereal pleasure, though.
Karna whispered near Katara's ears and scolded the delusional man-snatcher.
"She isn't talking about you! And get your mind out of gutter already! Those spears aren't toys, you know!"
Karna pointed at the gleaming tips of the spears held by fire nation troops surrounding the walls of Ba Sing Se. Even the merchants weren't allowed to enter the fortress capital, fully intending to cripple Ba Sing Se's economy.
"Do we really need to go in there? The prices would be astronomical. Not to mention that in such a situation, the officials won't be able to keep an eye on the citizens, so the crime rate must be at its peak."
It might not look like much, but Yue was a princess in her own isolated rights. She had political knowledge that nobody in the group could rival, except for Pavka and Virya, who refused to comment on the situation.
Hearing Pavka's words, the atmosphere of the group grew even more somber.
"Well, we don't need to stay here at all... I just need to complete a task at hand."
Nik shrugged while attracting the group's curiosity. Nina finally spoke up seeing the rest of the group hesitating and fearing the answer.
"And that task is?"
She raised an eyebrow and asked while leaning forward.
"To assist Fire Nation's siege of Ba Sing Se."
He replied calmly while his mind produced ideas at a furious pace. He once again opened the chain quest to analyse each and every word carefully.
[Chain Quest I
Description: With the Death of the current Avatar, the balance of the world has changed. To appease this world's Gaia, start restoring the balance. Infiltrate and destroy Ba Sing Se.
Rewards: 4000 SO, 1 SP (Skill Point)]
Penalty: Forceful departure.]
'The quest is a two-step process. The word infiltrate restricts me from openly attacking the city while the word destruction holds too many meaning and possibilities.'
He frowned. Honestly, he didn't wish to depart before partnering-up with ten women. Only four remained and he could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The quest mission would allow him to stay within the confines of the time allowed even after surviving the main mission. But there was a catch. While the quest mission itself did not restrict Nik to any time duration, the words appease this world's Gaia made him understand that Nik must have a direct hand in the fall of Ba Sing Se. If, Ba Sing Se falls without his own contributions, he would be forced to depart.
Infiltrate and then destruction.
He could assassinate the current king, destroy the gate mechanism from the inside or crush merchant houses within the city. There were many ways to cripple the capital as it was already hanging on a very thin thread.
"You are... still a Fire Nation spy?"
Sokka slowly muttered, while his expression was calm, the glare of his eyes and a sense of disgust in his tone betrayed his emotions.
"Maybe, maybe not."
Honestly, Nik liked Sokka and his open-mindedness. But even Sokka's hatred for every single fire nation filth was hard to curb.
"To be honest, I can sense... Gaia's distaste towards this human establishment."
Virya finally spoke out in surprise. But almost immediately, realisation dawned upon her and she immediately floated in front of Nik's face.
"You heard her call?" Virya tilted her face in confusion while stretching her hand outwards, releasing a soft glow that encompassed Nik's body before frowning and revolving around Nik at an unhurried pace.
While the invisible spirit continued her antics, Sokka felt a throbbing vein pop out on his forehead as he gritted his teeth.
"Nik, you... I misjudged you. If you are really willing to assist the Fire Nation, then I don't want to be a part of this group."
He finally uttered through his clenched jaws while Nik remained impassive.
Nik nodded. There weren't any hard feelings between them and he knew that the fire nation wasn't exactly a kind of saint nation. Blood of innumerable men and women flowed under its assault, Sokka's mother being one of them.
"Come on, guys! No need to be so serious. Why don't we just wait, Nik"
Before Yue could complete, Sokka cut her short.
"Sorry. But if Nik is still affiliated with the Fire Nation... I won't stay any longer."
Sokka took a deep breath before looking at Nina, who just shrugged and pointed out.
"Well, that's all nice and determined... but, we can't move forward without getting caught or leave without a carriage.
So, I propose that we suppress our differences, even if its for a moment."
Sokka couldn't help but open his mouth yet Katara beat him to it and spoke quickly.
"Alright, enough." She felt her heart clenching when Sokka gave her a disbelieving expression, yet, she continued, finally deciding to speak her mind out.
"I..." And yet, it was way harder than it sounded within her mind. She wished to proclaim how she wanted to move on from her past. How she wished to enjoy Nik's companionship without anything holding her back.
But, she failed to figure out how she should actually speak those stuff.
Move on? How? Forget the memory of her mother dying with chest ripped open right in front of her eyes?
How could she possibly move on?
Her spiralling thoughts quickly grew into a chaotic twister that wished to devour her entirely while never letting go of her past guilt and anguish.
"I think, that nothing I say will change your mind." Nik broke the silence with a smile as a threatening, yet, sweet scent exploded out of his body, finally, his scent even started affecting his own partners and Sokka, too.
As the group grew dizzy, they once again witnessed how sad Nik seemed while smiling.
And they slumped on the ground, his skill affecting their mind greatly, except for Virya.
"What's with this strange scent... it's the first for me..."
She muttered curiously. Though her eyes were already half-lidded, she seemed genuinely intrigued, her question made Nik smile a bit before he took Virya's chin between his thumb and index finger.
"I planned and planned for a perfect ending. Where we all can be happy. But... I finally understand the hypocrisy of that delusion."
Before giving Virya any time, he leaned forward and seized her soft lips, a warm sensation exploded within Virya's mouth as Nik played and ravaged her upper lips furiously, as if trying to vent his frustrations.
Now, in such close proximity, she found out how enchanting Nik's scent had actually become, yet, Nik continued with his kiss, not leaving Virya's mind any room to process anything other than his otherworldly skills.
A trickling sensation touched her lower torso, once again, something new that Virya had never sensed before.
Nik finally let Virya go, but kept hugging her waist while keeping her in air. Seeing her flushed cheeks, Nik smiled and spoke gently, soothing her somewhat erratic heart.
"Sleep tight. I'll return in a jiffy."
At Sokka's words and Katara's complicated expression, Nik finally felt his own foolishness. And honestly, he was thankful that he found the hindsight on his own thoughts at his first travel, technically.
He cannot keep everyone happy.
But he wished to be happy.
When Nik finally separated the fact that everybody's happiness does not affect his own happiness, Nik suddenly felt a weight disappearing from his shoulders.
He like Katara, he wanted her and honestly, she seemed interested in him, too. But, all this time, he had been restraining himself due to his consideration for Karna and Yue.
Even now, he felt nothing wrong with being considerate about his own women. But he was restraining his own personality. Sokka's words and determination only woke him up from his stupor.
He could have gained ten partners on several occasions and yet, here he was, entangling himself with thoughts of other people he won't ever meet after he left for his own world.
So, he simply used his Mind Control ability to trigger a change within all of them.
Planting a seed, if you may.
He didn't touch their personalities, their core beliefs but instead, planted a safety mechanism in the form of acceptance when things revolved around Nik. And that too, wasn't an easy task to achieve.
5 Days, he gave himself his own deadline.
In five days, he would leave this world for good. He had already become a murderer in this world, so, he also didn't mind committing other atrocities.
Looking at the sleeping group, Nik smiled gently.
Though, he felt a bit sad after the moment of realisation that he would be rewiring each and every partner of his in such a fashion from now on, the emotion was only momentary.
This action wouldn't change the fact that they were his women. Someone, he wouldn't let go of.
It was scary, Nik reckoned, but he needed to accept his own devils, how he made others accept his own devils.
Looking at the tall walls surrounding the city, Nik's eyes flashed grimly.
'Alright, you stupid wall. Time to open the gates.'
He gave the group one last look before jumping out of the hiding spot they had created. Once he was done, he will finally take the initiative and get rid of Katara's pain and enlighten Virya.