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Parson was busy licking his ice cream. It had chocolate sprinkles. “Yeah, so?”
‘So?! So we’re about to go to war with them, you jackass!’
“I thought it was the Rainlords we were having problems with,” said Parson.
Dergoz had to take a moment to calm himself. ‘There is a very real possibility that they could forge an alliance with each other. Which means you’ve just revealed your location to the enemy. For an ice cream.’
“Oh.” He still hadn’t stopped eating. “Well, I’m sure it’ll be fine. And besides, the Sandlords make really good ice cream. Surprisingly good, in fact. You’d think they’d stink at it, right? Being all about heat and sand and everything.”
‘Agh! Why did you even come here?!’
“Just following orders.”
“From Sermung?” asked Lawrence, figuring it was time to intervene.
‘Lamont, actually, but same difference,’ said Overra.
Lawrence eyed them both up and down. At a glance, Parson was an unassuming young man with golden brown hair and terrible posture. He was one of the oldest servants in the world, but Overra had never let him physically age. Or perhaps he’d asked her not to age him. Either way, it was the kind of thing that tended to make a bad first impression with the other old servants. Lawrence, however, was long past such trivialities with this man. “Why are you alone? I expected you to be in company.”
“Oh, yeah. My awesome tiltwing was shot down in Calthos. Thing was brand new, you believe that? Nearly lost one of my airmen, too, so I decided to make the rest of the trip on my own. Also, I wanted ice cream.”
‘Apologies,’ added Overra. To Lawrence’s eyes, she was quite a strange thing. She was a tornado, compacted in scale but constantly and silently whirling, while also bearing a mouth and eyes that consisted of nothing more than dark splotches. ‘We would have been on time, otherwise.’
“Yeah. You know she hates that sort of thing.”
“It’s no trouble,” said Lawrence, tasting his own ice cream now. Parson hadn’t been wrong about its quality.
They started down the stairs together.
“So where’s Zeff’s head?” said Parson.
Lawrence was expecting that question. Parson had always had a tendency of somersaulting over the pleasantries and bringing up the most sensitive topic as if he were merely asking about the weather.
And it was sensitive, Lawrence knew. Especially for Parson, because Zeff had worked directly under him before Lawrence took over his position here in Sair.