‘Our circumstances are not your problem,’ said Ezmortig. ‘Rather, they’re to your benefit. So what do you say? Will you come to Calthos with us?’
Karkash wasn’t certain what to make of this offer. He didn’t like Desmond very much, but Ezmortig at least seemed competent. He looked at Hoyohté as she deliberated. She didn’t ask his opinion, and he knew she would probably just ignore him if he gave it.
‘Very well,’ she eventually said. ‘We will go with you.’
‘Wonderful. Like-minded friends are a rare sort, you know. I’m sure our partnership will become the stuff of legends.’
‘Do not get ahead of yourself.’
Desmond scratched his bare ass as he turned around, facing the eastern horizon. “It’ll take a while to reach Calthos. Unless Sunshine over there can fly and carry me at the same time.”
Karkash glanced at Hoyohté. ‘Should I?’ he asked.
She gave him a small nod.
He pointed at the back of Desmond’s head. Lightning exploded through it.
Desmond’s body fell over, headless now as well as naked.
Ezmortig eyed the corpse and sighed. ‘You could have warned him, at least.’
“More fun this way,” said Karkash.
Hoyohté chuckled. ‘And they say we have no sense of humor.’
Chapter Sixty-Seven: ‘Blessings be upon thee...’
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Once Roman found him, Hector wasn’t conscious for very much longer. He was completely gone even before they’d made it back to the others.
So he slept. Deep and familiar, warm and embracing. And he awoke, as he had many times before, to the sound of Garovel’s voice.
‘Get up, Hector.’
His eyes took their time focusing. He saw blue sheets in front of him, and he slowly realized that he was lying on his side. He turned over and rubbed his face.
‘I know you still need more time to rest,’ said Garovel. ‘I’ll let you sleep all you want later.’
He sat up and found a well of pain waiting for him. “Guh!”
‘Yeah. Sorry about that. You can handle it, though, right?’
“Fffghhh--!” Every part of him burned. He buried his face in his pillow and growled out a few muffled curses. It helped. He hadn’t felt this much pain in a while.