Shenado was the one to speak up next. ‘If you have proof of your claim, then present it now. Otherwise, fuck off back to your marshes.’
Everyone looked at her.
Emiliana was more than a little surprised by the reaper’s aggressive language. She’d barely heard anyone use the f-word before, and Shenado had just dropped it in front of Marcos like it was no big deal.
‘Have we done something to offend you?’ asked Melchor’s reaper.
‘Yes,’ said Shenado. ‘If you wanted to look after the children, you should have discussed it with Octavia, Rayen, and Xuan beforehand. Instead, you decided to come here while they are busy defending the Rainlords’ honor--something your family elected not to participate in.’
‘There was no time. We only received word of Parson’s assault twenty minutes ago. We would have called, but we feared it being intercepted.’
Emiliana watched Shenado’s burning eyes narrow.
‘I understand that you may be suspicious of us,’ the other reaper went on, ‘but please, try to see reason. Don’t allow Mariana’s death to cloud your judgment. The children’s lives--’
The flames of Shenado’s cerulean body flared up. ‘I have already asked you to provide proof. Seeing as you have not done so, when will you be fucking off? I hope it is soon.’
“We are only trying to help,” said Melchor.
‘If that’s true, then you can wait outside the castle,’ said Shenado. ‘And when Parson arrives, you will be close enough to assist us.’
‘You’re being unreasonable--’
‘I do not believe I am.’ Shenado looked to one of the Redwaters behind Melchor. ‘Send word to Octavia of this supposed assault. Let’s see what she and the others think about it.’
The servant nodded and made for the door.
Melchor’s reaper vanished into his body. The man’s eyes became silvery marbles, dark with a metallic luster, and in an instant, the floor and walls were all covered with metal. “We did not come here to fight,” said Melchor, apparently still quite conscious. His voice, however, was suddenly different, because it wasn’t just his. Emiliana could hear his reaper speaking in unison. Two voices, one aloud and one in her head. “Please reconsider.”
The metal beneath her feet was whiter than that of the man’s eyes, she noticed, and after a moment, she realized that it was frozen.
‘Mercury,’ Chergoa assessed privately, calm as ever. ‘Get to Ramira. It’ll be hazardous to her if it melts.’