“Are you lying to me?” said Lynn with a narrowing eye.
He was all in now. “N-no...”
“Because at the time, it seemed like you were trying to avoid my question.”
“Er... I was just... embarrassed. I still am, actually, so... p-please stop asking me about it...”
‘Ooh, that’s good. Nice touch.’
“Fine,” she said. “Then what was the answer to my question before? You were about to say something before suddenly telling me it was nothing and then leaving.”
‘You don’t remember,’ said Garovel.
“I don’t remember,” said Hector.
Lynn looked annoyed with him. But after a moment, she relented. “Well, whatever. I guess it doesn’t matter.”
Hector would have breathed a huge sigh of relief if she hadn’t still been watching.
“So do you want to come to Sair with us?” she asked. “It’s not a royal order, if that’s what you were thinking. I’m sure I can protect the prince on my own just fine.”
Hector hesitated again and glanced at Garovel for another assist.
‘Ask for more information first. I’d like to know what the Prince’s urgent business is before we commit to an impromptu trip out of the country.’
That seemed incredibly obvious now, and Hector wasn’t sure why he’d needed Garovel to explain it to him. “Can you tell me about, um... more about why you’re going to Sair? It’s kind of sudden, isn’t it?”
“We’re going to meet the Sandlords. Prince Meriwether’s wife happens to be one of them. She recently returned to Sair on her own at her family’s request, and now Her Highness is sending the Prince as an ambassador to assess the situation there. And to negotiate something, I think. I didn’t follow everything she told him. She talked to him for a long time.”
“Huh. I, uh--I see. And you said... you have your own business in Sair, too?”
“Yeah, I’m going to meet a man named Haqq Najir. He’s a Sandlord, too, and a friend of Harper’s.” Lynn held up her left hand, the one wearing the bone gauntlet beneath her dark gray gloves. “I talked to him over the phone the other day, and he said he would tell me how to unlock the full potential of this thing if I pay him a visit.”