--donation bonus (day #28, post 3/5)--
For most servants, it was probably a benign enough thing to answer--simple and chat-worthy, even morbidly amusing, like Roman’s had been. The man likely had little reason to suspect that it was so personal a question.
He considered lying. It would be easy enough. A car accident, maybe. But the thought of lying about it was somehow even more humiliating to him. So he decided to take a cue from Roman. “I... don’t want to tell you.”
Hector knew that it might appear rude for a seemingly harmless question or that it might just spark even greater curiosity from Roman, but he was prepared. He’d had plenty of practice remaining silent.
However, Roman did not pry any further. “Fair enough,” was all he said.
Hector took a long, quiet breath as there came another lull in the conversation, this one more enduring. He could already see the first hints of daylight on the horizon. Clouds gathering in the distance suggested rain to come, no doubt very common weather for this forest.
He squinted, looking up diagonally. He could just barely make out the floating white skull in the sky. It was moving, scouting, and Hector couldn’t tell if it was Garovel or Voreese. ‘How much longer, do you think?’
‘Not sure,’ said Garovel from wherever he was. ‘The waiting is pretty terrible, though, isn’t it?’
‘Something not too many folks realize. Big fights usually involve a fuckload of waiting. You’d think that’d change in these modern times, but nope.’
‘How’s Roman? Does he seem nervous?’
‘Er, not really...’
‘Hmm. Ask him how long he’s been a servant.’
Hector regathered himself and asked, “How, um... how long have you been a servant?”
“Six years or so.”
‘He says six years,’ said Hector.
“What about you?” said Roman.
“Oh, uh.” He recalled what Garovel had told him previously about keeping his faster growth a secret, but he wasn’t sure what an appropriate lie would be. “About seven months, I think...” It hadn’t even been four yet, but he remembered telling Gina five a couple months ago.
Roman cocked an eyebrow at him. “So young.”