‘C’mon, Hector. Just walk it off.’
Hector grit his teeth. “Fucking...! Agh...!”
‘Pain is just an illusion, Hector. Like friendship or personal happiness.’
That wrenched a laugh out of him. “Garovel, you suck...”
He looked around, and it took him a moment to understand what he saw. It was a bedchamber, but it certainly wasn’t any place he’d stayed before. A large, clean desk and lamp sat adjacent a cedar shelf filled with scores of books, and a tall window with silvery curtains offered natural light into the room. His bare feet touched a silken rug, and he noticed that the room had two different doors as well, each on a different wall. “Where the hell...?”
‘We’re in the royal palace. In Sescoria, that is. We’ve been here for three days already.’
He held a hand to his forehead. “Oh, man... what’d I miss?”
‘I’ll tell you while you get ready. The bathroom is the door on your right, by the way.’
“Get ready for what?” he said, sluggishly making his way to the bathroom.
‘Dinner with the Queen.’
He stopped, and his eyes widened. “Oh shit...”
Garovel snickered. ‘Hector. Something actually NICE is happening. And we’re not dead! We survived. Try to appreciate that much, at least.’
“Ah... yeah. Is everyone...? I mean, uh, how is everyone?”
‘They’re safe. You stopped Harper from hurting anyone else. I decided to wake you up, because Harper and Darsihm are awake now, too. I thought you’d like to have dinner with everyone, especially since Roman and Gina are leaving in the morning.’
“Oh. Uh... th-thanks.” He went through the door and found a change of clothes next to the spotless sink. He saw himself in the mirror and blinked, abruptly remembering that first day after Garovel originally revived him. It felt so different this time, yet so familiar. His face still had that same gloomy look as before, but he didn’t mind it so terribly now. His hair had grown out a little, though, and that, he did mind. It’d always looked like the rough side of a blackened sponge to him.