The group aggressively confronts Padric back at his inn. At first he plays coy, but after hearing that Aisling almost got them killed by setting fire to the murder scene he drops the act and goes deadly serious.
Remi begins threatening that she’ll go to Malik and Grace if he doesn’t cooperate, but it’s unneeded. Padric shushes them all down before ushering them into the back of the Inn where they can talk in private.
With slumped shoulders, and a promise that they wouldn’t go to Grace or Malik, Padric explains. The Black Hand are criminals, and Padric hated that Grace was working to any capacity with them. He worried that Grace knew about Malik’s treachery and was okay with it it so long as it furthered her own ends and helped Rhamsted prosper financially to make her look good to the other royalty. Padric probably could have looked the other way in either case, but when Aisling came to town, everything changed. Padric and Aisling wanted to stop Malik, and to uncover his criminal activities to Balthazar, to Kezia, to Grace, or to anyone who would listen. But as they searched for proof that would damn either Malik or Grace, Aisling got out of hand. She got the idea that Grace was as guilty as Malik. As Aisling’s past came to light, Padric worried that their schemes had escalated from bringing justice to Malik, to getting revenge on him and anyone else turning a blind eye. Aisling became increasingly more violent as time had gone on. And the fight between Padric and Aisling that they stumbled on early was Padric telling Aisling he didn’t want anything to do with it anymore.
Zeke defends his cousin by pointing out that Grace might not know about Malik’s criminal activity. While Padric hopes that’s the case, the possibility has always been the reason why neither he nor Aisling could simply go to the authorities or Grace herself. If they were wrong, it could mean trouble for both of them.
As Padric talked, Remi looked increasingly uncomfortable at the extent of her father’s criminal activities being talked about in such a public setting. She couldn’t help but feel that being a good father wasn’t the same as being a good person. And somewhere, deep down, she was having a hard time believing that he could so such horrible things.
Rook and Nightingale demanded to know more. So Padric sighed, and with a look towards Remi, he continued. Without going into too much detail, Padric explained that Aisling’s lost her dad back on Earth and that Malik was directly responsible for his death.
Remi couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her father was a murderer too? That wasn’t possible. He was always so nice to her and everything he’d always done was out of love.
Remi spoke up, defending her father but was cut short by Padric as he explained that Remi didn’t know her father very well. She had only been on Middara for less than three years and Padric could assure her that Malik was far from an upstanding person, good father or not.
Remi sulked, angry and conflicted at all the new feelings washing over her.
Padric continued. He admitted that his actions weren’t out of altruism, revenge, or any other need to see Grace and Malik imprisoned. He just loved Aisling and got fired up by her fervor. But when things got out of hand he failed to convince her to let it go. If it wasn’t for what the group had just told Padric he wouldn’t have even believe that Aisling was behind the murder that happened to the information broker. But if the information broker really died in such a spectacular fashion, it could only mean one thing. Their plan worked and Aisling was able to steal the Hegemonix.
The mention of the ‘Hegemonix’ piques Rooks interest as he confirms to Padric that the Hegemonix was missing at the house.
Padric elaborates. The Hegemonix was a magical puzzle box from Arkalla, dangerous and capable of calling down exalted espers. They’re plan was to steal an artifact as proof for the King. It was likely that Asiling went to steal the artifact and got caught, then used it to kill the information broker.
Padric claims he has to end this, and he can’t let Aisling hurt anyone else. He doesn’t trust going to the authorities, but he wants to help them find what they need from the information broker and apprehend Aisling.
The group agrees, but Remi protests against the idea of helping everyone imprison her own father, but after some emotional support from Nightingale, Remi agrees to help in any other way she can.
They spend the night at Padric’s Dragon Arms for free once again, bathing and resting. They would need to be prepared if they were going to stop Aisling.
The next morning, as the group prepares to depart, Padric arrives, geared up and ready to join them. After finally being asking why he’s always so helpful, Padric comes clean and tells them that he personally knows Shayliss Arsen. If anything were to happen to Nightingale, Shayliss’ older sister might literally kill him. While there is clearly some unexplained history there, the conviction in his voice is enough for Nightingale to believe in the authenticity of the claim.
Excited to finally depart and get the information they need, Nightingale asks for a discount on gear before they depart. Padric only smiles and shakes his head. But he does let her know that he’s always happy to take money from royalty.