The silence that surrounded him in the instant that followed his words felt like a surreal stretch of time isolated from the rest of the world. Then the Paladin embraced him. At first it took him by surprise... a tenderness that seemed foreign to him. He stood frozen for a moment, unsure of what to do, or how to act. A feeling not unlike panic welled up in him... then it passed. He let the awkwardness slip away and lifted his right arm and put it around the back of the woman, a light akward embrace, yet... for one moment he felt a quiet force stir through him in a place normally reserved for rage or blind determination... for a brief moment he felt content, there in that place, in that haven, with these people. And in that moment Dolentrean was truly frightened, frightened and content. In less than a moment it passed. He looked silently at the book in his hands, let his thumb trail down its spine and run over the edge of the pages. He looked to the Paladin, a look on his face of true gratitude, a private thanks that meant more to him than he thought she would know. He looked towards Nevermore at his offer. He had traveled briefly with the man before in the past. He was a truly great warrior and had a sharp mind. He was a man Dolentrean would be proud to travel with. He spoke. “I appreciate the thought Nevermore... I mean it, but... This is something I think I have to do alone. And I'm not saying that out of pride, really. Hell, maybe its a little selfish, but...” He looked down at the book in his hands. “This is something I really need to do alone.” He looked up and smiled at the man. Part of him truly wished he could travel with Nevermore on his journey, but he didn't know where the journey was going to take him, he just knew there were places he had to find on his own if he ever wanted to answer the question that haunted him. “But if I can, I will return.” He shifted the book under his arm and turned his gaze to the Paladin, “I promise you that.” He looked to each of them in turn... 'And then maybe I can find it in my heart to forgive you' The women's vice echoed in his memory. 'I truly hope you can' thought the half breed silently to himself. 'I really do' And with that he nodded his head to them. “Goodbye.” He then turned and walked away into the dark, leaving the glow of the lantern and the pond behind, carrying his pack over his shoulder and a book of blank pages under his arm.