Chapter Ninety-Four: ‘Kindred souls, be swift...’
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It wasn’t long until Hector found himself aboard another airplane. He’d only arrived in Kuros a day ago--on his first ever plane ride no less--and yet now he was already leaving.
This second plane ride had a very different atmosphere, however. It did not provide quite the same level of comfort that the Prince’s private jet did. Rather, this one felt more like he’d somehow become involved in a smuggling operation. Lord Asad had chosen to use a cargo plane for their trip, and one of the doors was kept open at all times, making the whole affair rather windy and loud.
He supposed it only made sense, though. Asad hadn’t gained the approval of the other Sandlords for this venture, so a certain amount of discretion was to be expected. Moreover, the storage space allowed them to conceal military supplies among the normal cargo. The sight felt a bit surreal to Hector--piles of boxes belonging to the United Mail Service of Sair next to huge crates full of food rations and rocket-propelled grenades.
Apart from the pilots, only two other people had accompanied Hector and Asad. Both were female, though Hector hadn’t been able to tell until they pulled back the hoods of their black-and-gold robes. And they both had those distinct yellow eyes, too. The older woman was Imas Najir, Asad and Haqq’s sister. The younger woman was Jada Najir, Asad’s daughter. With all of the air rushing around the cabin, it was too noisy for anyone to speak without shouting, and the ladies seemed content with letting their reapers do the talking for them. Hector had no problem doing the same.
Garovel spoke at length, explaining his and Hector’s presence. Axiolis assisted. The other reapers welcomed the help but didn’t seem too concerned otherwise.
Hector could see the landscape changing dramatically through the windows. Barren desert and wastelands gave way to harsh, craggy rock formations, and soon enough, enormous mountains came into view, standing between them and Rheinhal. Some of the peaks were so tall that the plane had to navigate around them due to its low altitude flight.
Hector also noticed that meditating was more difficult. Garovel explained that it was a mild effect of hypoxia and could therefore be neutralized if needed, but the reaper told him that the extra burden could prove beneficial as practice.