Stoker evaluated his options. Traffic was rather heavy. A high speed chase would be difficult, at best, and Karkash’s magnetism had a range of thirty meters. Any car within that distance would not be going anywhere unless Karkash allowed it. And if Nize abandoned Stoker to flee on her own, Karkash would surely kill her with soul-infused lightning; or, supposing she fled straight downward, Karkash would still be able to reach her underground with a soul-strengthened magnetic field.
However, given that Karkash had not already attacked them, perhaps a fight was yet avoidable.
Stoker pulled over and exited the vehicle. He stepped onto the grassy median with Karkash. The noise from the cars all around them meant he had to get closer to the man than he would have liked in order to exchange words.
“What are you doing out here?” Stoker said in Vaelish. “You were supposed to be hunting down the servant with metal.”
‘Have you truly not realized, even now?’ said Hoyohté, floating behind her servant. ‘We were never going to hunt that person down. He is unimportant. This was only ever a trap for the two of you.’
Stoker eyed them both carefully. He decided to feign innocence until there was no other option. “A trap? Why would you need to set a trap for us?” In the meantime, however, he took note of the cool afternoon air. That could prove helpful.
Karkash ignored the question and asked his own. “Where were you going?”
‘We received new orders while you were gone,’ lied Nize. ‘Our presence was requested in Kahm.’
‘Then I am sure you will not mind returning to the castle and having the others confirm that for us.’
‘After you, then.’
No one moved.
Chapter Thirty-Nine: ‘O, turbulent cloud...’
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Stoker met Karkash’s stare evenly. In truth, he was afraid of the man, but there was no room for fear now. And he wasn’t weak, either. He could fight. If he played smart, he might even win. So that’s what he did.
Stoker slowly put both arms up as if to surrender.