Zami cocked his head to the side as he watched the absurd scene playing out before him. Nimboya was trying, in vain, to stuff an extraordinarily sweaty Mythene into the boiling cauldron. It wasn't working out very well for him, seeing as she was keeping herself firmly propped up on either side of the pot with her legs.
"C'mon, elfy, just get in da pot! It only hurt a second," Nimboya cooed, as Mythene uttered back a string of Darnassian too quick for Zami to register.
It didn't sound very friendly, though.
Zami watched the two of them struggle, neither able to overpower the other, before his amusement at the bizarre situation faded and he decided to step in.
"Nimboya," Zami tsked as he approached, causing the other troll to jump in surprise.
This gave Mythene an opening to elbow him in the nose, and wriggle to the sweet freedom of falling on her face into the dirt. Zami snorted in amusement, perking an eyebrow in feigned annoyance at Nimboya.
"Didn't I say not to put her in da pot?"
As Nimboya quickly offered a string of three separate and rather disjointed excuses, Mythene sat up and spat out a clump of grass. Zami smirked at the sight, unable to really hear anything Nimboya was saying.
Part of him, somewhere deep inside, was relishing the sights he'd seen of her in the jungle. So out of her element. That part of him loved seeing her get taken down a peg, maybe as a bit of retribution for how she'd been to him back when they met.
But another part of him, the part more present in his mind, felt something else.
It wasn't pity. He definitely wasn't feeling sorry for her. He was pretty sure he respected her too much. Wait, he respected her? How long had that been a thing? Maybe since he'd met her sister. Since she'd changed.
She had changed, hadn't she? He hadn't thought much of it at the time, given all that had been going on with Zalu and Jumi, but Mythene's interactions with Syrise should've been telling of just how much she'd changed. The elf he'd first met all those months ago never would've even shaken hands with a blood elf.
Thinking back on it, he began to wonder what exactly had changed her. Had he? He must've had some part in it, he supposed, but the details were unclear. Though Mythene could read him like an open book, figuring his thoughts with a single glance, he always had trouble figuring out what was going on inside her head.
"...so that's why I was tryin' to put her in da pot, see?" Nimboya finished, drawing Zami back from his thoughts.
"Huh?" He blinked a few times, "Oh, uh..."
Mythene perked an eyebrow, and Nimboya grumpily put his hands on his hips.
"Hey, mon! Were ya even listenin' to m-"
"Dat's great, mon," Zami nodded, shifting his gaze away from Mythene to the trees, "So, back before, ya were tellin' me where Aka ran off to?"
Nimboya made a sour face at being cut off, before reluctantly sighing.
"Yeah, like I said, mon. She ran off, few months back. I'd say towards da Kal'ai Ruins, maybe?"
"Kal'ai…" Zami paused, thinking about the location, "Ah, dat ain't far from here! Just a bit to da northeast, yeah?
"Oh, ya gonna go find ya raptor? If ya do, be careful of da Murkgill, mon. Dey can be pretty nasty little buggers."
Now Zami nodded, before going over to Mythene and scooping her up over his shoulder as before.
"Gotta get my raptor, den I'll deal wit da elf," He said, as a half-baked excuse.
"Could always put it in da pot," Nimboya said in singsong, and Zami rolled his eye.
Leaving Grom'gol was a lot easier than getting in. The orcs stationed on guard at the gate gave him a few funny looks-or maybe they were more towards Mythene-but nobody said anything. As soon as they were out of sight of the Base Camp, Zami tossed Mythene down onto the ground and she landed rather inelegantly. He gave her an apologetic shrug as he knelt down and undid her bindings, returning the rope to his pack.
"What in the world is that troll's obsession with boiling me alive?" Mythene grumbled, rubbing her sore wrists.
"Ah, Nimboya just be like dat. Don't ya worry bout it none."
Mythene perked an eyebrow at Zami, giving him a quizzical expression, before standing up.
"Your grammar has gotten worse," She pointed out, seeing he didn't catch the source of her confusion, "It seems that you speak less eloquently in the presence of your kin."
"Huh?" Zami furrowed his brow before quickly adding, "No I don't."
Although he said that, he couldn't help but wonder if she was right. Maybe. His doubt must've been audible in his voice, or visible on his face, and Mythene looked at him flatly.
"I've observed as few of your interactions now. Both with your brother, and just now. It's quite interesting," She said as she set a hand upon her chin, "It's as if you're subconsciously hiding your intelligence."
"No I ain't!" Zami huffed, glancing aside.
"Hm, what is that human saying? Thou doth protest too much? Something like that."
"I don't speak good common," Zami grumbled.
"...That was the translated version, thero'shan."
Zami just grunted and began to walk, content to end that conversation. He really didn't like what he was beginning to think she was implying. Mythene followed him quietly, no doubt knowing she'd pushed a button. Even if she didn't understand which, or why.
Ever since he was young, Zami had always hated remembering how different he was. He was the only one of his siblings with red hair. He was the only of his brothers not a hunter. Sometimes he felt like he was the only boy in the whole of Sen'jin Village stuck doing women's work with the old ladies. And a whole host of other reasons he always felt strange among his own people. And what Mythene had said only reminded him of those old feelings of being an outsider. The feelings that got him started on the dark path of becoming a rogue, and an assassin, and killing-
"Zami?" Mythene spoke up, drawing him from his thoughts, "Where are we going?"
"Huh? Oh, to the old ruins of Kal'ai."
"That troll before mentioned something about Murkgill. That doesn't sound like another troll clan."
"Tribe," Zami corrected, "And dey ain't trolls."