Thursday, September 1, 2016

Page 1248 -- CXXXVIII.

Hector felt himself blushing. ‘Alright, thanks, you can stop now. I don’t--

I told you to stop interrupting.

Hector frowned.

Garovel waited a moment. ‘Okay, I’m done now.


So what’d you think? I worked hard on it.

I... uh...

Speechless, eh? That’s only to be expected, I suppose. You’re welcome, by the way.

Hector was still a little fluster. So after another uncertain pause, he decided to just address the problem directly. ‘Somehow, I always get a lot more uncomfortable whenever you start acting all... sincere out of nowhere like that.

Ah, well, sincerity is important, Hector. Sometimes, at least. I can’t very well be a facetious prick all the time, now can I? I mean, I COULD, technically--don’t think I couldn’t. But ultimately, it would stand in the way of progress in our relationship. You can’t build trust out of jokes and insults. And believe me, I’ve tried.


And y’know, miscommunication between reaper and servant is the primary cause of every major conflict in the world, y’know.

Hector squinted. ‘...There’s no way that’s true.

See? You understand when I’m spouting total bullshit. That means we’re communicating very well with one another. And thus, my point is proven.

Hector kept squinting. ‘...No, it isn’t.

Exactly. Good for you, understanding that, too.

Shut up, Garovel.

You shut up.

Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Eight: ‘The land of leviathans...’
Click to display entire chapter at once -- (mobile link)

To say the very least of things, the city of Babbadelo was not what Hector expected. There were no buildings. At least, not by conventional standards. Instead, there were only pillars, tall and broad and wreathed in streaks of amber light. It was like some gargantuan forest where the trees were hewn from rock and glowed in the dark.

But there were trees, too. Many, in fact. None were in the ground, but they were here. They stood in vats of various sizes, depending on the tree, though some were so large that they became walls unto themselves while supporting an entire row trees. They all looked to be the same species, as well, though Hector couldn’t exactly identify them. Frankly, he was surprised any kind of plant life could survive the temperatures down here.

And then, of course, there were the people.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Page 1247

Why would I get you something for MY birthday?’ said Hector.

You wouldn’t,’ said Garovel. ‘I mean, I’m not upset about it.’ A beat passed. ‘Would’ve been a nice gesture, though.

Hector opened his right hand and materialized a smaller, iron hand therein. He made sure that only its middle finger was extended. ‘Here’s your present.

How crude.

Hector annihilated his work before anyone else saw it. ‘Okay, then, let’s have it. I’m ready for this verbal birthday card of yours.

It’s not your birthday yet.

Wow, you’re gonna make me wait to experience something so incredible?

You’re that curious, huh? I suppose that’s to be expected. Alright, fine, I’ll give it to you early. It goes like this. Ahem. “Dear Hector. You’ve been my servant for around nine months now, and so--much like a fetus maturing into a human being--you’ve made the journey from complete uselessness to NEAR complete uselessness.”

Well, thank you.

I’m not done.

Of course you aren’t.

I’ll continue. Ahem. “I know I can sometimes come across as callous or ungrateful for many of the things you’ve done for me, but I just want you to know that. Well. I am. Both of those things. Because you never do anything right, and really, I’m the amazing one for being able to put up with so much of your shit.”

Birthday cards aren’t this long, Garovel.

Stop interrupting. Ahem... “Ahaha! But I’m merely teasing, of course. We do have fun, don’t we? I only make fun of you because I know you can take it. If I’m being completely serious, though, then I do feel genuinely compelled to thank you. I know that sometimes, my cynicism gets the better of me, but even after only nine months, I can say with some confidence that it is an honor to have you as my servant.”’

Monday, August 8, 2016

Page 1246

Eh, I’d bet on you,’ said Garovel. ‘You’ve already faced worse, I think.

Hector blinked at the sudden compliment. It was nice, but a part of him would’ve preferred another insult.

Oh, and by the way,’ the reaper went on, ‘I know we’ve been busy, but I haven’t forgotten about your birthday.

Hector kind of had. ‘...What day is today?

You don’t know?

Hector gave a stilted shrug. ‘If I’m honest, everything’s just a blur to me right now.

It’s the twenty-third. Your birthday’s in two days.


Do you need me to remember how old you are, too?

You’re one to talk,’ said Hector. ‘How old are you, exactly, huh?

You don’t get to use that excuse until you’re at least a hundred,’ said Garovel.

I’m turning seventeen. Happy now?

Actually, you’ll be turning eighteen.


I’m just fucking with you.


But the fact that you seemed genuinely confused for a second is amazing.

I was only confused because I trust you to tell me important shit!

Oh, well, I’m flattered.

I should just never trust anything you tell me.

Aw, don’t say that. I got you a birthday present in order to demonstrate my affection.

Hector’s brow lowered. ‘...How could you get me--? You don’t have a physical body, so you couldn’t have--

Does that mean you don’t want it?

Hector’s mouth flattened. ‘...Alright, where is it?

It’s not a physical object, you materialistic fuck. I got you a verbal birthday card.

A what?

A verbal birthday card.

Is that as stupid as it sounds?

If by “stupid” you mean “incredibly thoughtful of me,” then yes. Don’t worry, though. I’m not expecting anything in return.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Page 1245

Anyway,’ said Garovel, ‘the planet’s ardor is widely theorized to be the source of all human and animal souls as we currently know them. But that’s a bit difficult to be prove. It could be that souls and ardor developed independently of one another. Or from some third thing that we haven’t even discovered yet.

Hmm. So, wait. Every living thing in the world has a soul?


Even, like, those single-celled organisms you were talking about just now?

Yep. Even them. But it must be said that their souls are extremely weak, comparatively.

Huh. Does that mean...? Uh. Does that mean you could’ve taken, like--I don’t know--a hamster as your servant?

I thought I did. I mean, just look at you.’


I had to, Hector. You set me up way too perfectly.

Fuck you.

But yeah, in theory, I could’ve taken a hamster for a servant. Anything with a large enough brain.

A hamster has a large enough brain?

Yeah. The requirements aren’t too strict. Good thing, too, otherwise you wouldn’t--

Alright, shut up.

Heh. Generally speaking, though, taking anything other than a human as your servant is an incredibly stupid thing to do. Not being able to communicate complex ideas to your servant is a pretty big problem.

Makes sense.

I’ve known a few reapers who did it, too. Haven’t known any where it worked out for ‘em, though. Shockingly, animals can be rather unpredictable.

I bet someone figured it out,’ said Hector. ‘Imagine having a bear as your servant. A super old bear with soul power? That would be insane.

Literally,’ said Garovel.

Maybe. Not something I’d wanna fight, though.