After that cheery meeting, we left the forest, a bit faster this time since Gregor gave us a guide to see us out. Other than running into a small swarm of white-shelled things the natives described as dire squirrels, the trip was uneventful.
Once we were out of the Hellwood, the bandit guides faded back into the trees, and the six of us were left to walk back across the Stonefield alone.
It did not take long for the questions to start.
“You need to explain what happened back there,” Harold insisted.
I did not even look at him. “No. I do not.”
“Yes, you DO!” He put himself in my path, walking swiftly backwards across the broken ground to keep up with me. “How the Hell is it that some old friend of yours just so happens to be king of the bandits we were sent to fight!?”
I still did not meet his eyes. “Gregor has always been a powerful warrior, with a good head for strategy and tactics. It is only to be expected that he would end up in command.” I felt my eye twitch, but ignored it. “As for being in charge of bandits…that we can blame on his morality.”
“Sir Wreth, if you do not want to explain exactly what happened between the two of you, we cannot make you,” Vale admitted. “But we would prefer to know at least minor details. Such as whether or not he is trustworthy.”
I had to resist the urge to grind my teeth together. “He…is. After a fashion. do not betray him, and he will not betray you. You just need to be careful, because he will not tell you when you have betrayed him.”
They all looked at each other in confusion. Vale was the one who spoke. “What?”
“He plots vengeance,” I explained patiently. “When he feels he is been wronged, he does not get mad. He does not tell you you have done something to offend him. He just watches and waits for the best moment to strike.”
“…that is creepy,” Norn muttered.
“Yes,” I deadpanned. “That is one word for it.”
“Is that what happened?” Harold asked. “You did something, and did not realize—”
“This conversation is over.”
The rest of the march back to New Grandsbriar was in silence.