‘But it’s not like the quake created the magma,’ said Hector. ‘It just bridged two pools together, right? Or streams... or whatever.’
‘Yep. Which means there’s almost certainly even more magma down here somewhere. And depending on how much there actually is, the shift in heat pressure from that earthquake might one day lead to brand new volcanic activity. Which wouldn’t be very good for us.’
‘So you’re thinking that just adding layers to the tubs wouldn’t fix the real problem.’
‘Pretty much, yeah...’
‘How do you intend to dig down here, then? Brute force? Even with enhanced strength, that’ll take you a while.’
‘Well... I don’t see any other options...’
‘Alright, then let me have a look around for the best point of entry.’
Hector exited the bathhouse, having to go all the way through the Tower of Day’s ground floor and out into the greater cavern area before finally finding a lungful of genuinely cooler air.
He decided to practice with his metal while he waited. He hadn’t been training with his metal as much as he would’ve liked. Or at least, he hadn’t been experimenting with it as much. He’d of course been getting plenty of practical experience in his almost daily patrols around Gray Rock, and while that was certainly helpful for honing his existing skills, it didn’t help much with developing new ones. He knew that he needed to set aside some time soon and really see what else he was capable of now. For the moment, however, these brief periods of downtime would have to suffice.
He extended his arm out fully and concentrated. There was only one thing he wanted, and he envisioned it in his head.
The metal ball materialized in an instant, just in front of his open palm. But rather than falling straight to the ground, it popped outward first, as if it had been gently tossed. He annihilated it before it touched the ground.
It wasn’t much velocity, of course, but it was a start. And he was sure he could do more, still, if he could only get a better feel for it in his mind. It was just such a newly applied concept that he was having difficulty wrapping his head around it.