Emiliana stood to her feet. She went straight for the first question she could think of. “Are you Alicia’s grandmother?”
“I am indeed,” the woman said. “I apologize for not telling you right away. I was hoping to catch your pursuers when they revealed themselves, but it seems they intend to remain hidden.”
‘Ah, I sense them fleeing now,’ said Chergoa.
‘That would explain it,’ said a new reaper, phasing up through the floor behind Madame Redwater. ‘I suppose Octavia and I have become a bit too famous to employ such discretion.’
“How dull.” Octavia offered Emiliana a pert smile. “They never tell you that once you grow powerful enough, people tend to stop trying to fight you. I have not had a real fight in four years."
‘Six, actually,’ her reaper said.
“Really? Huh.” The old gal shrugged. “Glad it only seemed like four.”
‘It’s a pleasure to meet you both,’ said Chergoa. ‘I’ve heard of Octavia Redwater, of course, but not her reaper. What is your name? Mine is Chergoa, and this is Emiliana Elroy.’
‘I am Wendissofigelroc,’ he said.
“Just call him Wendy,” said Octavia.
‘Please don’t. I hate that name.’
Octavia shook her head. “He never learns. No one is ever going to call him Wednesdaywafflerocks.”
‘Ugh. Wendy is a girl’s name. At least tell them to call me Wen.’
“When what?” And the smirk grew slowly into Octavia’s face.
Wendy only returned a flat stare.
“Get it? When what? That was a joke.”
Wendy just sighed and floated away.
“Anywho...” Madame Redwater turned to Emiliana again. “You are safe now. Let us go find the rest of your family, shall we?”
Emiliana wanted to hug her, but she only managed a weak nod.
Mariana had to keep to an exact path. If the rain hadn’t been strong enough that day, certain areas below the platform wouldn’t be flooded enough for the boat to pass over.
It was a long while before they reached the edge. Beneath Aguarey, the persistent darkness was only occasionally offset by pillars of light and their accompanying waterfalls, both of which were provided by the few drains that weren’t connected to the city’s greater sewage system.