Pakku had already lost his bearings as the most elaborate and deliberate master of the Northern Tribe. Unlike the Chieftain and the four beastmasters, Pakku actually practiced a whole different type of waterbending that reached the efficiency of the waterbending arts gleaned through mimicking various beasts of the Arctic region.
But when it came to his own daughter, he was only filled with regret and helplessness.
He regretted the fact that why couldn't he just sleep early at that fateful night? And helplessness for his lack of control over his daughter.
She was too wild and willful and someone who practiced control over the element, Pakku couldn't simply bear the fact that he couldn't control his own daughter.
His slightly deranged eyes swept past Nik before his expression grew even more contorted! His hand immediately extended outwards as Pakku readied himself to spit another round of curses only to get a grin from Amazonian as she struck the base of his neck before Pakku found himself lying on the floor, unconscious.
Karna immediately shouted and struggled out of the Amazonian's hold before rushing towards Pakku and kneeling before him, cradling his head up over her laps. While Karna felt the seed of terror blossom within her heart, she was almost sure that the main reason for today's mishappening is none other than Karna herself.
"You could have taken a bit more... gentler approach, Katsu."
Bhiman spoke out as he carefully eyed Karna, who seemed to be oblivious of her surroundings as she looked at her father with a conflicted expression before his gaze swept past Nik, all the while, the Amazonian Katsu shrugged.
"I don't go gentle against crazy, Chief!"
She let go of Nik, who took a moment before walking near Karna and then gazing at Bhiman.
"Ehm... Chieftain... nice to see you?"
A soft chuckle escaped Katsu's squared jaws as she made her way towards her seat before Bhiman nodded and smiled.
"I suppose so, nice to see you again, Nik. I heard a lot about your wondrous talent."
Kneeling near Karna, Nik failed to respond as he saw a deeply disturbing look on Karna's face for the first time. Even though Nik hadn't known her for a long time, through his persistence and shameless nature, he already knew a lot about her, just like Yue.
But never did he witness her smiling while crying.
A look of relief taking cover of her expression while her eyes showed a prominent look of anguish.
And this deeply disturbed her. Not for the fact that he couldn't understand her, in fact, strangely, he found out that her current expression seemed to have overlapped with something that was rooted deep within his consciousness, and this sudden thought scared him.
No whispers of consolation uttered out of his lips as he gently pushed Pakku's body before molding a small patch of ice with a gentle curve to place Pakku's head on and finally took Karna's shoulder before pulling her closer.
Although, it was a bit wrong to try and win over Karna with such gestures when she was supposedly at her weakest, Nik felt that it was the right thing to do.
If he didn't even support her now, then when would he?
And this show of expression allowed him to understand that how much toxic this tribe actually was, despite the era of peace that the tribe enjoyed, the mentality of each and everyone here was extremely twisted.
"Get on with it." Nik sighed and continued, "Chieftain, it would be much easier if we jump straight to the main point instead of chatting meaninglessly."
Bhiman nodded as the doors of the hall opened once again, allowing an equally terrified and guilt-ridden Yue to enter the hall.
It didn't take a genius to connect the dots... somehow, the word about Nik training the duo in the method of waterbending leaked out. In fact, Nik already had prepared himself for this event, after all, he and Karna were already quite the popular topic as they would visit the Princess The Northern Witch every evening.
In fact, deep down, Nik simply wanted to go open and show his deed in the public. Such a suppressive society was anything but pleasant to him.
And so, he continued with his own selfishness and taught Karna and Yue everything. While Karna was a complete Waterbender, Yue could only push and pull the water instead of controlling it effectively.
"I .... sorry."
Yue whispered softly as the tear stains on her face spoke volumes, making Nik feel even grimmer.
'Maybe... I should simply take them...'
His thoughts converged, Nik was finally prepared to throw caution to the wind. Although he didn't know how Karna and Yue would take it if he actually took them away from the tribe, but now, he was prepared to satiate his own selfish motive with the hope that the two don't hate him for long.
"Not only did you teach the women of the tribe"
"Ah! I thought that I had it in me to listen to all this... but gender discrimination is bullcrap! So are your thoughts!
And your upbringing!"
Nik's casual words silenced the hall, even the sniveling Karna felt a bit speechless as her hold around him grew even tighter.
"Is it me... or did he really say that Chieftain's upbringing is comparable to Arctic Bull's crap?"
The Water-Horse lord raised an eyebrow, before Bhiman could respond, a wave of laughter followed by isolated claps broke them out of their reverie.
Turning to the newcomer, Nik once again saw the man, most probably a host, Brian, walking into the hall with a smile.
"Nice to meet you again, Nik. Last time, we both didn't have a proper chance to introduce ourselves" A wave of unsettling feeling spread across the room as even Nik creased his brows in confusion.
"I am Brian Hofstadter, nice to make your acquaintance, the Last Incubus."
The world turned gray for a moment before Nik found himself being able to move as he stood up and took a step forward, standing in front of Yue and the kneeling Karna while a strange smell assaulted his senses.
Somehow, Nik knew what Brian was other than his status as a host.
Hearing Nik's uncertain words, a broad smile flashed across Brian's face as he nodded with a grin.
"You got that right."