By the time they saw the gray sky again, Marcos had died. And the clock was ticking. Mariana had about eighteen hours to find the boy a reaper before his soul decayed too greatly and became unusable.
‘Think this through calmly,’ said Shenado.
Mariana didn’t want to be told that. She was perfectly calm. She’d already cleared her head and saw the situation exactly for what it was.
But Shenado was insistent with her attempts at comfort. ‘We can find a reaper for him. If we explain that it is an emergency, the other Rainlords will be able to recommend someone for him.’
There were multiple problems with that, Mariana knew, chief among them being the fact that she wasn’t at all sure who among the Rainlords should be trusted. What little faith she had in her allies had already been shaken today. ‘We rule out any family that has ties to the Vanguard,’ she said.
Shenado frowned. ‘I understand your caution, but that eliminates almost everyone in Intar. And half of us in Sair.’
‘I’m not willing to risk contact with anyone in Intar, anyway. The Vanguard monitors all long-distance communications there.’
‘True. They could be monitoring Sair, too. They don’t have permission, but given what we’ve seen today, that probably wouldn’t stop them. And they wouldn’t need to monitor the whole country, either. Just the Rainlords.’
Mariana pulled out her phone. Now that they were out from under the platform, she finally had a signal again, but that wasn’t why she’d held onto it all this time. She only wanted to see if she had any missed calls. And she did, all of which were from Emiliana. The temptation to call her back immediately was strong, even knowing that someone else could be listening.
Thankfully, it wouldn’t be necessary. Mariana tossed the phone overboard and kept going, leaving Aguarey behind. She knew the exact coordinates of her destination even without Shenado reminding her, and after a while, she saw it there, bobbing up and down in the water. It was a boathouse and safe house all in one, tied to a tall pillar in the water.