While holding a cigarette in between his lips, Schmidt leaned back pleasantly on his backpack after throwing some firewood into the fireplace.
He was listening to the whistle of the cold wind outside and enjoying the heat from the fire inside.
Schmidt took a puff and blew out a ring of smoke casually.
To him, it was a rare vacation that he had sought after. Without those annoying people disturbing him, everything seemed so pleasing to him even though it was a harsh environment.
Kieran on the other hand was not part of his worries as well.
Everyday in the afternoon, Kieran would come back to the cottage and report that he was safe. He occasionally even brought back some wild hare for dinner.
Although Kieran would leave everyday during sunset, after knowing what Kieran was going after, Schmidt didn't stop him and only sent his blessing quietly.
"What is behind that stone gate?" Schmidt took another puff and his curiosity made him ask about that matter.
Schmidt knew perfectly clear what that strange stone gate was. After all, even with Kieran's strength, he wasn't even qualified to take a look at the gate. That situation had branded itself into Schmidt's mind forever but what followed was his curiosity as well.
Kieran also said frankly that he wanted to try opening that gate which automatically led to Schmidt thinking about it until a screech sounded at the door.
Crack Tsk Tsk!
There wasn't a door frame to begin with. It was just a crude pivot to hold the door together. The screech wasn't as melodious also. Not only was it tooth numbing but it gave him goosebumps as well.
The opened door brought in the cold wind and Nicil.
"Aren't there manners like knocking before entering in the Sanctuary?"
Schmidt said with an upset tone after shivering from the sudden cold wind.
"A person who treated someone else's turf as his own backyard and started to take a vacation speaks about manners?"
Nicil refuted Schmidt's question before picking up Schmidt's cigarette box casually and taking one out and lighting it up before the fireplace. After a puff, Nicil looked like he was in cloud nine.
"It has been awhile since I've tasted tobacco!" Nicil exclaimed.
"Please don't make yourself look like a real apostle. Okay? It will cause misunderstandings for those who respect one!"
Schmidt flipped a white eye at Nicil who was unusually self-aware of his actions.
The return of the two Archdeacons, Simon and Maya, was delayed further than expected.
Although Smulder had awoken, he was nowhere to be found at the moment, let alone taken care of affairs in the Sanctuary.
Therefore, Kieran and Schmidt's return had been seriously affected. Hence, Schmidt and Nicil were seeing each other a lot more.
Nicil was tasked to bring over food and blankets throughout the period from Sanctuary base.
With Nicil's character, he was destined to never be serious and meticulous with everything.
After a few times going back and forth, Schmidt had gotten familiar with Nicil and had gotten quite the information about the Sanctuary from his mouth as well. Being an apostle was one of them.
An apostle removed entertainment and pleasure from their lives. Even the food they ate was kept at a minimal level and the clothes they wore were just enough to cover their body.
They walked among dangerous situations and trained their body and will to purify themselves in the process.
They might be considered as a unique group even within the Sanctuary but they were also the most respectful ones.
"Being at Sanctuary Island is like being an apostle already, at least from outside eyes!" Nicil said sounding as plausible as he could.
"Is that so? Then why don't you learn how to live like an outsider like 2567 did!"
Schmidt flinged the ashes of his cigarette and pointed outside the door.
"2567 He is not a normal human being!"
Nicil got goosebumps when he heard that name. His neck shuddered.
Nicil of course had witnessed Kieran's self-torturing way of training himself.
If he didn't make sure Kieran was Nikorei's assistant, he might have mistaken Kieran as some apostle and maybe one of the most extreme ones.
"I've never seen a man train his will and body as he did. Freezing himself into ice and recovering from it and then freezing himself again The pain in the process would drive one crazy easily!" Nicil couldn't help but gasp when he recalled that scene he saw.
"That is why 2567 will grow stronger!" Schmidt laughed, sounding a little proud that he could call Kieran his friend.
"That is 2567, not you!" Nicil popped Schmidt's imagination bubble.
"Of course I know! But I am grateful for a friend like him!" Schmidt took another puff with a smile before he blew the smoke at the fire. The burning fire vaporized the blown smoke in an instant.
After throwing the remaining half of his cigarette into the fire, he placed a pot with icy snow over the fireplace.
The snow quickly melted into water since it was half-liquid. Schmidt then added more firewood into the fireplace.
According to the time, Kieran was going to be back soon. Even though Schmidt couldn't provide any help to Kieran in his training, he hoped that he could be useful at other aspects such as preparing his meals.
"Are you a part time cooking maid now?"
Nicil raised a brow, sounding a little ridiculous with his words.
Before Schmidt could reply though, Nicil continued on, "Have you ever thought about fighting side by side with 2567? Or would you rather hide aside and be anxious when facing danger?"
Schmidt paused for a moment.
"What do you mean?" He squinted his eyes and asked. His sharp senses felt that Nicil had meant other intentions with his words.
"There is quite an amount of secret techniques within the Sanctuary. They can grant you power or at least the capabilities to protect yourself!" Nicil said seriously.
"Then you can officially impose that I am one of your people. By using my relationship with 2567, you would rope him into the side of the Sanctuary, am I right?" Schmidt laughed coldly.
Schmidt was no idiot. As the chief officer of the West Coast, he had experienced a lot and understood how the dark side of humans operated. He knew deeply that there wasn't a free meal anywhere in the world.
Anything that appeared to be one definitely turned out as a trap.
Schmidt was just a common human being. Even with the badge from the force, the Sanctuary fellows wouldn't take him seriously as well.
So what made Nicil come to such a resolution?
2567! Other than him, Schmidt couldn't think of anything else.
Schmidt raised his head at Nicil and spoke quickly.
"Seems like you fellas are getting more and more hopes in 2567 eh! Though, I can't blame you! 2567 has powers that no one can neglect. Plus, he is the assistant of Rei. Given the current situation of the Sanctuary, that ambush plans of those two Archdeacons, Simon and Maya, are not going very well right? And you said Smulder vanished the moment he woke up meaning he went as reinforcement right?"
"You people are in need of manpower and coincidentally, 2567 is here! So whether is he the reincarnation of that Hugh Holy Knight guy, you people will treat him as the real deal! However, based on 2567's attitude, it's hard for you to grasp his mind. Thus, you need a buffer to get to him and I am the suitable person to do that!"
Nicil didn't refute him this time about. His silence already proved that Schmidt's guesses were right.
"So you are rejecting right? I knew I am not suitable to persuade people, I'll"
"Reject? Why would he reject?"
Nicil sighed full of helplessness. Just as his words were escaping his mouth, he was interrupted by a voice outside the wooden cottage.
The wooden door opened and closed. It was Kieran with a smile on his face.
So Schmidt might actually learn something and be useful? What can he learn, instant cook some beef soup can?